Amid the impacts of inflation and the rising cost of living across the country, affordability is the top factor that potential buyers are considering when choosing a neighbourhood in Western Canada. This is the case in 75 per cent of the regions surveyed including Vancouver, BC; Kelowna, BC; Regina, SK; Winnipeg, MB; Brandon, MB; and Medicine Hat, AB. The only outliers to this trend are Calgary, AB where proximity to preferred schools is top of mind and Edmonton, AB which can be attributed to the relative affordability it provides prospective buyers, as compared to many other provinces and regions across the country. Other priority factors Canadians in the West are considering when scouting for neighbourhoods include access to green space (a factor listed in 100 per cent of the regions); proximity to preferred schools (in 75 per cent of the regions) and proximity to work (in 50 per cent of the regions).
As Canada continues to grapple with a housing crisis rooted in a persistent inventory shortage, RE/MAX Canada explores possible solutions through the launch of its latest report, 15-Minute Neighbourhood: Lessons for Small Communities. The report, named for an urban planning concept that puts daily necessities within a 15-minute walk, bicycle or transit ride from home, attempts to highlight this pragmatic approach to building the right supply of housing for the greatest number of Canadians, in a way that delivers maximum liveability and affordability – particularly in smaller municipalities that are experiencing rapid growth.
As regions that have remained relatively stable over the last couple of years, these are not priorities that have shifted significantly for the most part and in fact, are expected to remain the same in Vancouver, BC, Kelowna, BC and Regina, SK. Although quality of life is considered satisfactory in regions like Vancouver, BC, Winnipeg, MB and Medicine Hat, AB having greater proximity to work; more access to public transit, bike lanes and/or walking paths, preferred schools and medical services factors were identified as drivers to boost liveability. Meanwhile, in cities such as Kelowna, BC and Regina, SK where many neighbourhoods already capture the spirit of the 15-minute neighbourhood in some capacity, rank quality of life as very satisfactory. It is anticipated that Calgary, AB and Brandon, MB’s liveability would increase with greater proximity to work/professional opportunities.
In the 15-Minute Neighbourhoods Report, RE/MAX Canada examined a selection of large and small markets from coast to coast, with RE/MAX brokers and agents asked to share their insights into local liveability. Here’s what they had to say.