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36% of British Columbians seriously considering leaving the province

What people say and what they actually do are two completely separate things.

But, really, these numbers would be shocking even if they were only half true.

36% of British Columbians say they are seriously considering moving out of the province because of housing unaffordability, according to an Angus Reid poll taken May 24-30.

That number climbs to 50% when millennials are asked the same question.

Millennials are the generation aged 28-43 who are of prime home buying age, but are feeling most acutely that they'll never be able to afford their own home.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia Group</who>Rick Hamer-Jackson is a realtor with ReMax Kelowna.

"Like most polls, those numbers may be heavily inflated," said ReMax Kelowna realtor Rick Hamer-Jackson.

"People love to gripe about how expensive everything is, but most don't actually do anything about it. But, absolutely, we are seeing some people move to Alberta -- and it's usually Alberta -- for cheaper housing, higher wages and lower taxes."

Hamer-Jackson said the trend may also intensify because Kelowna's unaffordability is "different this go round."

It most certainly is.

The latest figures from the Association of Interior Realtors puts the benchmark selling price of a typical single-family home in Kelowna at $1,015,000, a townhouse $724,300 and a condominium $507,500.

In Edmonton, prices are less than half.

First quarter numbers from the Realtor Association of Edmonton put the median price of a single-family home at $460,000, a townhouse $277,500 and a condo $176,500.

In Calgary, prices are more than Edmonton, but still well below Kelowna's.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, in the first quarter, the median price for a single-family home was $688,500, a townhouse $450,000 and a condo $312,250.

</who>More than one-third of British Columbians are considering moving out of province because the high cost of living and unaffordable housing.

"BC is a famously beautiful place to live, but a rising cost of living, including unaffordable housing may be enough to send some residents searching for other pastures, even if they're not quite as green," reads the introduction to the Angus Reid report on the poll.

What that means is people who live in Kelowna may love it for the weather and lifestyle and recreation and the fact all their family and friends are here.

And they don't want to move.

But, they are considering it if they can get cheaper housing, more pay and lower taxes elsewhere.

"If people move from Kelowna to Alberta, it's all about opportunity," explained Hamer-Jackson.

"Some are doing it out of necessity. It takes a lot of moxie to pack up your family and leave. Which is why young people -- those in their 20s, who aren't tied down -- are more likely to make the move and get a good-paying job, buy a house and pay less taxes."

The survey pointed out that last year, BC lost 8,000 more residents to other province than it gained, an inter-provincial net loss not seen in more than a decade.

The poll was self-commissioned by Angus Reid to take the province's pulse.

The results are based on what the pollster calls a "representative, randomized" online survey of 1,250 adults who are part of the established Angus Reid Forum.

Results are considered to be accurate by plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The survey shows half of respondents feel the ruling BC NDP is not doing enough to make housing more affordable in the province.

Housing affordability is a big concern in BC for 44%, but the top issues are actually the overall cost of living and inflation at 66% and health care at 52%.

We also worry about climate change, 23%, street crime and public safety, 23%, and the opioid crisis/addictions/drug use, the economy/jobs and government spending/deficit, each at 16%.



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