Moving and Storage Statistics and Trends in BC and Alberta for 2016

BigSteelBox Moving TruckThe moving and storage industry in Canada is complex and always changing. At BigSteelBox, we strive to be leaders in this space, which means we must constantly stay on top of what Canadians want and need when it comes to moving and storage.

We’re fascinated with examining what is influencing and shaping the markets we serve. Long distance moves, in particular, were on the rise in 2016. So, we've asked the following questions to better understand recent long distance moving trends in Canada:

Where are Canadians moving to and from?
Why are they choosing to move?
What is drawing them to particular cities and regions?
What are the most common situations when they need storage?

These are just a few of the questions we’re always asking to help improve our understanding of this industry, and to help us consistently provide our customers with the best possible moving and storage experience.

What Do We Know About the Moving and Storage Trends in Canada?

The 2016 Census Migration Report showed significant growth in Canada’s Western provinces. In fact, over the last five years, Alberta had the fastest population growth rate among Canadian provinces, up 10.8% - that’s more than double the national average! The number of people living in British Columbia also increased more rapidly than the national average, up 5.6% from 2011 to 2016.

To get a grasp of what is happening in moving and storage in BC and Alberta, we connected with the BigSteelBox Regional Store Managers and took a look at our migration statistics. This helped us understand some of the factors coming into play in the Western regions, including Calgary, Edmonton, the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland.

Here are some statistics and trends we’ve observed in regards to moving and storage in these areas:

Calgary: Canadians are moving to this growing metropolitan area

From 2011 to 2016, the population of Calgary grew by 14.6%, the highest in the country. In 2016, BigSteelBox observed the following trends in moving and storage:

  • Despite Alberta’s economic downturn, Calgary is still Canada’s fastest growing metropolitan area in Canada. This has been reflected in the volume of inbound moving activity BigSteelBox has observed in recent times, with most moves in 2016 originating in Edmonton (16%), BC’s Lower Mainland (21%) and Vancouver Island (16%).
     
  • In alignment with a national trend, people of all ages are downsizing and opting for inner-city condo living over life in the suburbs. This has led to an increase in demand for off-site storage needs as people forego yards and home storage spaces.
     
  • Meanwhile, many are still looking to leave the city following Alberta’s economic downturn. West Coast moves are on the rise as retirees move to Vancouver Island and BC’s Interior:
    • 24% of BigSteelBox moves from Calgary were destined to the Okanagan region of BC
    • 33% of BigSteelBox moves from Calgary were destined to Vancouver Island
       

Edmonton: Stable economic activity attracts new residents

Moving & Storage Trends & Stats in BC and Alberta for 2016From 2011 to 2016, the population of Edmonton grew by 13.9%, more than twice the national average. Some say this can be attributed to lower taxes and an economy that has remained relatively stable despite a drop in global oil prices. BigSteelBox observed the following trends in 2016:

  • There was a significant increase in 2016 moving activity versus the previous year. In 2015, very few people were buying or selling their homes.
     
  • The majority of moves destined to Edmonton originated in Calgary and BC:
    • 25% of moves originated in Calgary
    • 19% of moves originated in BC’s Lower Mainland
    • 19% of moves originated in the Okanagan region of BC
  • The majority of moves originating in Edmonton were destined to BC:
    • 29% were destined to the Okanagan region of BC
    • 24% of moves from Edmonton were destined to Vancouver Island
    • 20% were destined to BC’s Lower Mainland
    • 6% were destined to Ontario
  • The majority of retiree movers were destined to BC
     

Lower Mainland: Albertans contribute to the real estate boom in Vancouver and surrounding areas

Between 2011 and 2016 the number of people living in BC increased more rapidly than the national average. BigSteelBox observed the following trends in 2016:

  • One factor in greater Vancouver’s real estate boom was an influx of people from Alberta, particularly baby-boomers looking to retire to the Lower Mainland:
    • 28.7% of moves from Edmonton were destined to the Lower Mainland
    • 17% of moves from Calgary were destined to the Lower Mainland
  • Many movers are downsizing, leading to a notable increase in demand for mobile storage solutions as they are left without adequate space in their homes.
     
  • On top of an abundance of home sales/purchases, many existing home owners are upgrading and renovating their homes. This has led to increased demand for mobile storage rental units.
     

Okanagan, BC: Canadians are drawn to Kelowna and Okanagan after retirement

Canadian downsizers are drawn to Kelowna and OkanaganBetween 2011 and 2016 the population of Kelowna grew by 8.4%. Meanwhile, several other Okanagan communities are also experiencing population growth. This can in part be attributed to the relocation of retirees; many are selling their homes for a good price, and watching their dollar go further in the Okanagan. BigSteelBox has observed the following moving and storage trends:

  • Downsizers are selling their homes for a profit in Vancouver’s hot market, and moving towards the Okanagan and Vancouver Island:
    • 39.4% of Lower Mainland moves were destined to the Okanagan
    • 19.3% of Lower Mainland moves were destined to Victoria/Nanaimo
  • ​Kelowna’s market performed so well that a growing number of homeowners are seeing this is as an opportunity to sell their homes for a profit and relocate to less populated communities:
    • 17% of moves from Kelowna were destined to other cities in the Okanagan
       

BigSteelBox Makes Moving and Storage Simple

These are just some of the factors influencing the moving and storage space on Canada’s West Coast, and we will continue to monitor these trends.

If you’re planning a long distance move to or from BC, Alberta, or another Canadian region, or you’re looking for a mobile storage solution, we’d love to help!

Request your free quote online today, or give us a call at 1-800-373-1187 and we’ll be happy to help meet your moving or meet storage needs.
 

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