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Millennials not giving up on Metro Vancouver

May 16, 2016, Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – Sixty-eight per cent of the region’s millennials have considered “giving up and leaving Metro Vancouver,” but a strong majority say they expect to still be living here in five years.

Those are the findings of a new Vancity poll conducted by the Mustel Group. The credit union commissioned the survey of 18- to 35-year-olds in Metro Vancouver to better understand the affordability issues millennials are facing, and how that might affect their decisions about where to live.

Unsurprisingly, the survey revealed the cost of housing is a major concern, with 93 per cent of respondents rating home ownership as unaffordable, and 66 per cent saying it is unaffordable to rent within the region.

Still, 83 per cent say that in five years they expect to still be living within Metro Vancouver – either in their current municipality (61 per cent) or in another municipality within Metro Vancouver (22 per cent). Those intending to stay cite jobs (57 per cent), lifestyle (56 per cent), family (53 per cent) and friends (51 per cent) as among the most important factors keeping them in the region.

With the affordability crunch hitting hard, many millennials say they are making trade-offs to afford life in Metro Vancouver. The most striking is that many of them are still living at home with their parents. Sixty-one per cent of respondents between 18 and 24 say they are living at home, while 23 per cent of those between 25 and 35 have yet to move out.

Other trade-offs include:

  • spending less or eating out less (54 per cent)
  • living in a smaller home (47 per cent)
  • delaying purchase of a home (41 per cent)
  • starting a family later (34 per cent)
  • living at home longer (30 per cent)
  • giving up the dream of owning a home (29 per cent) and/or
  • not owning a car (22 per cent)

Despite the pressures, Metro Vancouver millennials continue to hold a positive outlook, with most saying they expect to own a home at some point in the future. Most, however, acknowledge that dream is at least 10 years or more away.

As a community-based credit union focused on building a strong, local economy, Vancity has been inviting millennials to express their opinions about the region through online submissions. Vancity is today launching a campaign showcasing those submissions, as well as a blog containing tips, tricks and other lifestyle hacks for millennials in Metro Vancouver and beyond. To learn more about the campaign, visit


"We don’t want millennials to give up. Clearly, they don’t want to give up either. That’s why we’re looking for ways to amplify millennial voices in hopes of bringing all the right people and organizations to the table." William Azaroff, Vancity’s vice-president of community investment

Additional information


Market research was conducted on behalf of Vancity designed to gauge attitudes and opinions among Millennials regarding the cost of housing and other living costs in Vancouver and how they might impact decisions about where to live. A total of 500 online surveys were completed with Metro Vancouver millennials, residents 18 to 35 years of age. The survey was conducted April 8-13, 2016. The margin of error on a random sample of 500 is +/-4.5% at the 95% level of confidence.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 519,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $19.8 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.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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