January 30, 2018 10:43 pm
Updated: January 31, 2018 10:30 am

B.C. city named Canada’s No. 2 place for millennials, and it sure isn’t Vancouver

A study from Point2 Homes found that Victoria is one of Canada's "hot spots" for millennials.

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Victoria has long carried a reputation as a place for the “newlywed and nearly dead.”

But a report by housing portal Point2 Homes has accorded it a new status: as one of Canada’s top hot spots for millennials.

Coverage of Victoria housing on Globalnews.ca:

The report looked at a number of factors when ranking cities and towns.

They included climate, unemployment, health care, the crime rate, level of education, life satisfaction — and housing affordability.

Victoria ranked second out of 85 cities in the report, trailing only Quebec City.

READ MORE: This house just became Greater Victoria’s priciest home sale in over a decade

B.C.’s capital received top marks in areas including life satisfaction, climate and millennials as a percentage of the population.

But what’s attracting people to Victoria?

For Martin Nikleva, one attractant was the “beautiful weather.”

He also said there’s “lots of great food, lots of cool activities, lots of young people in town.”

The buildings on the skyline of downtown Victoria, British Columbia as seen across the Inner Harbour on September 20, 2017.

Don Denton/CP

“Victoria is growing and changing,” said city Mayor Lisa Helps.

“But it’s the scale of Victoria — the small, compact nature of it, that makes it what it is and I think that’s what’s attracting people here.”

The report ranked the city lower when it came to the crime rate (ranking at number 38) and home prices (ranking at number 61).

Victoria ranked in about the middle of the pack of Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) when it comes to the most recent Crime Severity Index.

But CMAs are broad areas — Victoria’s includes Saanich, which was counted separately in the Point2 Homes report.

READ MORE: Canada’s housing has never been less affordable than it is in Vancouver right now

Victoria has also been flagged for concern when it comes to home prices.

RBC’s most recent “Housing Trends and Affordability” report named Victoria as one of three cities that saw their worst affordability levels ever, in the third quarter of 2017.

A chart showing home ownership costs as a share of income in Victoria, according to RBC.

RBC

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The housing market there is being boosted by factors such as “steady job creation and one of the lower unemployment rates in the country,” according to RBC.

Victoria also isn’t subject to a foreign buyers’ tax like Metro Vancouver is.

“I think we need to realize, people are willing to spend money to be here and I think we have to look at creating more housing opportunities,” said Kyle Kerr, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board.

That includes more condos and townhomes — “creative housing opportunities that millennials are looking for,” Kerr added.

There’s construction all over the city, in what is a clear sign of the demand for housing.

It’s transforming the city’s skyline, and its reputation as a sleepy capital.

Vancouver, meanwhile, ranked 10th in the Point2 Homes report — its housing affordability coming in dead last, with an average home price of $1,439,652, according to the portal.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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