Inter-provincial purchases accelerating due to record-high migration

Canada saw its greatest number of people moving to other provinces since 1991, Statistics Canada says

Inter-provincial purchases accelerating due to record-high migration

The influence of consumers buying homes across provincial borders is at its most apparent since the 1990s, according to data from Statistics Canada.

The agency’s inter-provincial migration estimates for the second quarter indicated that this period saw the greatest number of Canadians moving to other provinces (123,500 people) since Q3 1991. This also represented an increase of 55.1% from the first quarter.

British Columbia saw the largest net migration in Q2 (15,290 people), far higher than the next-largest provincial gains in migrants, seen in Nova Scotia (4,678) and New Brunswick (2,145).

“Although COVID-19 briefly interrupted the flow of international migration into British Columbia during the second and third quarters of 2020, the province has remained the go-to destination for most Canadians who have wanted to relocate to another province,” said economist John Clinkard. “Since it has attracted 80% of BC’s international migrants, Vancouver’s appeal to those from outside the country appears to outweigh that of Toronto’s.”

Read more: Cross-provincial migration steadily influencing home sales

This lopsided distribution was apparent in the small Q2 net increases seen in Prince Edward Island (869 people), Newfoundland and Labrador (806), and Quebec (626).

Substantial net losses were observed in the remaining provinces, with the largest decreases taking place in Ontario (11,857 people) and Alberta (5,447). Notable net decreases were also registered in Manitoba (3,613) and Saskatchewan (3,362), Statistics Canada said.