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B.C. easily ranks as Canada’s most livable province, Okanagan a big draw: Survey

Canada’s top places to move to if you're trying to escape the city. CNW Group/Ratesdotca

It seems B.C. is the place to be in 2021.

A new online survey shows the majority of Canadians trying to escape the city in the midst of a global health pandemic are turning to Canada’s most western province.

The Livability Report by Ratesdotca ranked over 150 communities based on affordability, growth potential and lifestyle.

Read more: Benchmark price for single-family home in Central Okanagan now at $776K

Not only did 35 B.C. communities appear on the list of 166, but five of them cracked the top 10, including two in the Okanagan.

The top relocation destinations of 2021 according to the survey, were Langford, B.C.; Kelowna, B.C.; Trois-Rivières, Que.; Bathurst, N.B.; and Rossland, B.C.

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Penticton, B.C., was ranked ninth.

Half of the top 10 communities as part of the Ratesdotca survey are in B.C., including two in the Okanagan.

For the full list of rankings and data, visit the Ratesdotca website.

“Canada has some incredible hidden gems if you’re relocating for a change in lifestyle; places people seldom think about,” said Robert McLister, mortgage editor at Ratesdotca.

Read more: Coronavirus — Real estate agents say pandemic playing role in red-hot Okanagan market

“We set out to discover which of these areas have the best combination of affordability, economic momentum and livability.”

The survey found that 51 per cent of Canadians who moved in 2020 due to COVID-19 did so to “live in an area with more nature” and 36 per cent “felt financial pressure” to find a cheaper home.

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“Our first-ranked city, Langford, B.C., got high marks for growth, affordability (particularly relative to other B.C. hot spots), property tax costs, desirable climate and proximity to spectacular nature,” said McLister.

Read more: Home values ‘moderately increase’ in Thompson, Okanagan region

“This and other top 10 locations could see outsized real estate returns in coming years given they check a lot of homebuyer boxes and are relatively cost-effective.”

The survey of 1,514 Canadians was conducted by Leger Marketing from Jan. 22 to 24 using Leger’s online panel. The sample’s ages ranged from 18 to 55-plus years old.

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