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Poll: Retirement, job happiness, space sacrificed to live in “paradise”

Vancity working to address the affordability challenge in Metro Vancouver

October 17, 2014, Vancouver, BC – More than half of Metro Vancouver residents have made sacrifices that impact their wellbeing to be able to live where they do.

That’s one of the findings from a poll of people living in the region conducted by Angus Reid Global for Vancity and the Vancouver Sun. According to the poll of nearly 1,100 Metro Vancouver residents, in order to be able to afford where they live:

  • 26% have cut back on saving for retirement
  • 22% have stopped saving for retirement altogether
  • 23% have worked at a job they don’t like
  • 18% have lived in a space that is too small for them or their family.

They say they are also giving up extra-curricular activities for their children (10%), gym memberships for themselves (12%) or cutting short their education (9%).

When it comes to housing prices, nearly half (45%) of Metro Vancouver residents rate value for money as “poor” or “terrible.” The poll also found:

  • 86% of non-homeowners would like to own a home but can’t afford to buy one
  • 80% said housing prices are too high for the average resident
  • 64% know someone who is staying with friends or family because they can’t afford a place to live
  • 47% considered moving due to issues of affordability

Despite their concerns, 61 per cent of residents surveyed say that “it’s worth every penny to live in Metro Vancouver.” And 55 per cent say they may live in a small space but at least they are living where they want to be.

The results point to the challenges many homeowners, renters and their children face in order to stay in the community they love. The first step is to decide if buying is possible or whether renting is a better option. Vancity offers learning resources to help first-time homebuyers understand their home ownership options and make smart, informed choices through tools such as its First-time home buyer’s hub.

The credit union’s mortgage specialists also offer professional advice that’s tailored to the unique needs of people living in the region. It also offers financial literacy seminars to help its members address the challenges of living in Metro Vancouver.

In addition to helping prospective homebuyers, Vancity invests in stable and affordable housing. The credit union supports a continuum of affordable housing including: emergency and homeless shelters, transition housing, not-for-profit or subsidized housing, cooperative housing, rental housing, life leases and property ownership.

Vancity is committed to redefining wealth and building healthy communities for its members. An important part of building a healthy community is understanding the needs of members and people living in the communities it serves. The survey is helping to identify key concerns like affordability.


Linda Morris, senior vice-president of Vancity
“The housing market presents an affordability challenge for many Metro Vancouver residents. At Vancity, we believe that financial institutions play a role in overcoming that challenge by working with our members and by investing in the communities where they live.”

Additional Information:

  • Angus Reid Global poll results for Livable Communities Study – data tables

About the Survey:

From September 26 to October 2, 2014 Angus Reid Global conducted an online survey among 1,100 residents of Metro Vancouver who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has a margin of error of +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the adult population of the GVRD aged 18+.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 501,000 member-owners and their communities through 57 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $17.5 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

For information on how Vancity is helping members achieve homeownership and address the challenges of affordability, visit

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394