Millennials are not living in the Township of Langley and they don’t want to, according to Point2Homes.com.
A recent look at Canada’s up-and-coming hot spots in 2018 compared 85 of this nation’s most populous cities and found that the Township ranked No. 1 for ‘the least tempting’ municipality for millennials (commonly defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34).
To determine Canada’s up-and-coming millennial hot spots in 2018, Point2Homes compared 85 cities by looking at nine factors including housing affordability, unemployment rate, life satisfaction, low crime rate, healthcare, climate, level of education (the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher) and the percentage of millennials in the total population.
Quebec City ranked as the top place to live for millennials, followed by Victoria for the generation that is entering the work-world.
Langley Township has the second lowest unemployment rate in Canada, according to Point2Homes, but it also has a high crime rate and few millennials living here.
Unaffordable housing also is an issue with this generation. Langley Township was ranked No. 63 out of the 85 cities for home prices, income sits at No. 42, health care at No. 45, and crime at No. 59.
Fourth on the least attractive cities is Chilliwack, which ranked at the very bottom for education options and crime rate.
Quality employment and affordable housing are two key factors that motivate millennials to settle down in a new city, notes Point2Homes, a Canadian company that covers real estate market trends and news, and develops original studies on real estate topics.
“But this upbeat generation obsessed with life-work balance is looking for more than just a well-paying job and a nice house. They want engaging leisure activities, opportunities to socialize with other like-minded millennials, eco-friendly resources, and a safe but exciting city where they can thrive,” the study reads.
The high cost of housing in the Township factored into its low ranking, according to Point2Homes, which notes that the average price of a home in the Township is $668,356 (combining the average prices of townhouses, condos, and detaches houses in the community). Compare that to Cape Breton, N.S. which ranked first in the category among the 85 communities with an average home price of $132,833.
BC Assessment stats show that in Langley Township, strata condos have increased around 33 per cent, and strata townhouses around 13 per cent, with a typical townhome surpassing the half-million mark at $553,000 in 2018, compared to $490,000 in 2017.
Even with the rising cost of real estate, Township mayor Jack Froese contends that the municipality is a desirable place for young adults starting families and buying homes.
“Affordability is important,” Froese said. “There are several factors at play. No. 1, it (a community) has to be affordable, close to work, good transit, and so Langley is a growing community in the region. Our housing probably is the most affordable when it comes to other areas of Metro Vancouver.”
Finding a place to rent is also a challenge for all age groups in the Langleys combined.
The CMA’s updated Rental Market Report shows that, averaged out, the private apartment vacancy rate in Langley City and Township combined was 1.5 per cent (including 0.7 per cent for one bedroom apartments) in October 2017.
And in October 2017, the cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment when averaging the two Langleys was $975 per month. This increased to $1,340 for a two bedroom condo and $1,752 for a three-bedroom unit.
“We don’t have a lot of rental stock compared to other areas,” Froese said. “A lot of our rental stock is basement suites and secondary suites. We are getting more rental stock being built, so obviously there’s the affordability part: if you can’t afford to get a mortgage, or aren’t ready to get a mortgage and purchase a place, obviously a tight rental market would have an effect. We definitely have that in Langley. It’s improving but it takes time.”
However, those who do call Langley home “love living here,” noted Froese.
“We have an urban/rural mix, there’s lots of trails, lots of activities, and lots of things for young families and young people to do,” the mayor said. “Why Quebec City is No. 1 and Langley would be No. 85, I don’t have an answer for that.”
Vive Quebec City!
• Quebec City took the number one spot on the list as Canada’s most attractive city for millennials. Victoria, B.C. took second spot and Guelph, ON took third. Victoria is loved by millennials for its warm climate, low unemployment and life satisfaction.
• None of Canada’s largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa or Calgary, made the top five.
– Files from Langley Times reporter Troy Landreville