Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell says a study into millennials underscores the many advantages of Saanich.
A survey from Point 2 Studies ranked Saanich as the sixth most desirable location for millennials, the cohort of individuals born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. Saanich’s neighbour Victoria finished second overall in the survey.
“It’s nice to see younger people see the value [in Saanich],” said Atwell.
The survey ranked 85 cities on a number of factors, including housing affordability, unemployment rate, climate, share of the millennials, and overall life satisfaction. Saanich tied for first with Victoria in the category of overall life satisfaction.
According to the survey, 19.6 per cent of Saanich’s total population of 114,148 qualify as millennials.
So why do they like Saanich? It certainly can’t be for the housing prices. With an average housing price of $907,446, Saanich ranks 75th among the surveyed communities. (Victoria, for the record, ranks 61st with an average housing price of $620,400). This figure becomes even more significant when we consider that millennials living in Saanich have a yearly individual income of $79,750 – good enough for 27th in the ranking, according to the survey.
Saanich, however, scores high on climate (tied for first with Victoria), crime (sixth with a crime severity index of 40.16) and employment (eighth with an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent). Saanich also boasts a high share of residents with bachelor degrees (37.7 per cent), likely a reflection of the fact that Saanich is home to post-secondary institutions the University of Victoria and Camosun College.
Atwell believes the presence of those institutions has contributed to Saanich’s high ranking. Specifically, Atwell believes that millennials have come to appreciate how the compactness of Saanich’s various villages lets them go about their daily lives.
Saanich also offers something for everyone, whether they are looking for an urban lifestyle, a semi-urban lifestyle, or a rural lifestyle.
“You can grow with Saanich,” he said.