B.C.’s rising cost of living and unaffordable housing appear to be sending some residents searching for homes in other provinces.

A new poll from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows that residents across B.C. find that the BC NDP is not focusing enough on addressing housing needs.

Data showed that B.C. lost 8,000 residents in 2023, leading to an inter-provincial net loss not seen since 2012.

More than one in three people polled (36 per cent) said they are “giving serious consideration” to leaving B.C. due to housing affordability.

The biggest number of people polled live in the B.C. Interior.

Fifty-four per cent of those polled said they are not considering moving anywhere.

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Ahead of the expected October provincial election, residents said they will be focused on which candidates are assessing core issues, including cost of living, health care and housing affordability.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents said Premier David Eby and the BC NDP are not focused enough on taking steps to address housing needs.

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Twenty-four per cent said Eby and the party are giving the issue the right amount of attention.

When they consider the priorities of the BC NDP, a plurality of residents said the government is not focused enough on encouraging investment.

Equal numbers are unsure (24 per cent) or say the government has given sufficient attention to this file, while five per cent say it is too focused on investment.

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At least 52 per cent in all areas say their housing needs should be more of a focus when it comes to Eby’s NDP.

A study released in November 2023 showed that B.C. had the highest cost of living of any province in the country.

While people across income levels said they were seriously considering leaving B.C. due to the high cost of living, it was not shared equally by residents of all ages.

Half of 18- to 34-year-olds and more than two in five 35- to 54-year-olds said they are seriously thinking of leaving the province because of the cost of housing. For older British Columbians, who are more likely to be more established, perhaps with a home that they’ve paid off, leaving is less of a consideration, according to Angus Reid.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from May 24-30, 2024 among a representative randomized sample of 1,250 British Columbian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

ARI also surveyed an additional sample of 99 Indigenous adults living in British Columbia from May 24-30, 2024.