Moving out of Vancouver? Everyone is heading to this Alberta city

As seven-figure home prices and painful commutes push people out of major cities and into more affordable centres, a new report from Royal Lepage details where Canadians are setting their relocation sights.

The report, which details the country’s most affordable real estate markets and Canadian’s attitudes toward relocating to lower-cost-of-living regions, found that those looking to relocate from some of Canada’s most populated cities are eyeing Edmonton in particular.

According to the survey, 45% of Vancouver respondents say they would consider purchasing a home in a more affordable city. Vancouverites picked Edmonton as their top relocation choice (19%), followed by St. John’s (13%) and Thunder Bay (9%).

Alberta’s capital city is also the top choice for those in the Greater Toronto Area (19%), while respondents in Montreal are eyeing Quebec City (29%), followed by Sherbrooke (15%) and Trois-Rivières (12%).

Edmonton is the fifth-most affordable city in Canada and second in Alberta, below Red Deer. According to Royal Lepage, about 28.9% of a household’s monthly income in Edmonton would be required to service a mortgage payment.

Royal LePage

“When shopping for a home, your dollars are bound to stretch farther in Edmonton than they would in most large urban centres in Canada. Here, a budget of $500,000 can get you a quality family-sized home on a sizable lot within proximity to desirable amenities,” said Ed Lastiwka, associate broker with Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate.

“Though our supply of homes has historically been plentiful, which has helped property prices remain stable, that has changed since the onset of the pandemic. Edmonton’s affordability has drawn many to the city in recent years, prompting more intense upward price pressure as demand outstrips supply.”

Lastiwka also noted that interprovincial migration to YEG has been increasing since before the pandemic (looking at you, Alberta is Calling campaign), with the majority of residents relocating from British Columbia and Ontario.

“With approximately 100,000 people projected to move to the city within the next few years, home prices are expected to increase, yet remain relatively affordable.”

Though many are setting their sights on cheaper housing, overall, 40% of respondents from the country’s largest urban centres say they would not move to one of Canada’s most affordable cities; this sentiment was more pronounced among homeowners (47%) than renters (30%).