Canadians a restless bunch

November 11, 2012 -

The "seven-year itch" doesn't just affect relationships.

Canadians a restless bunchLinda White, Special to QMI Agency

A new survey shows Canadians also have a wandering eye when it comes to their homes. One in four (28%) homeowners get the urge to move every five years, says a survey commissioned by the ComFree network. Another 14% get that itch at least once a year and 5% claim the urge to move strikes every week. More than 69% of Canadians believe a home says a lot about a person and must reflect their personal style and image, but 29% believe a home is just something that provides them with shelter.

“Clearly, the No. 1 reason why some Canadians tend to move is simply evolving taste,” says Martin Rygiel, real estate manager for the ComFree network, the country’s largest commission-free real estate network. A healthy real estate market and hefty renovation costs contribute to a homeowner’s desire to scratch that itch, he says. According to the survey, conducted by Harris/Decima, 35% of homeowners love their neighbourhood but would like to change their house — and that’s especially true among first-time homebuyers (39%).

Though half of homeowners said wanting a change was enough to facilitate a move in the past, other reasons are prompting postal code changes today:

  • Family size increase (such as marriage and children.) : 42%
  • Job relocation : 37% but much higher in Alberta at 53%
  • Family size decrease (such as divorce, death and empty nest) : 20%
  • Retirement : 18%
  • Came into more money : 14%
  • Home was in need of renovations : 14%

Using data from its 2011 change of address service, Canada Post has observed the following moving patterns among Canadians :
Reasons for moving: 22% of Canadians moving do so because of work-related reasons while 20% are upgrading their home and another 17% move for family reasons.

Where do people move? Though the vast majority of Canadian families move within the same province, 13% move to another province and 4% move outside the country. Among all movers, Atlantic Canadians are most likely (58%) to stay within the same city.

When do people move? Summer is generally the preferred time to move, with the numbers doubling in July compared to January. Westerners are most likely to move throughout the year while in Quebec, the number of moves quadruples in July.

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