I had a beer with one of my best friends last night. His sister lives in Regina. He's a contractor. This market has treated him well. He's responsible, honest, ethical and hasn't taken advantage of anyone over the last two years that he's been self employed.
And he's leaving. And I can't say I blame him. Sure he's married, but he's not uprooting kids and his wife will have better teaching opportunities. Not that it will matter.
They have about $300K in equity in their Gordon Head house. They bought first in 2002. Took out a 14 year mortgage and paid it down as fast as they could. Bought and sold again in 2006.
Best part for them? When they buy an above average house in a nice neighbourhood in Regina they will be mortgage free. And they'll feel good about having the 2-3 kids they want but don't think they can afford here. And they will be able to have one parent at home until the kids start school.
Sure the winters are cold. But the sister who grew up here and now lives there with her four kids and husband love their lifestyle. When they come here to visit, they don't talk about how much they miss Victoria, they talk about how great Regina is for their family.
And so my friend and his wife will leave. And I can't say I don't understand. Early thirties and mortgage free. I have to wonder why more of Victoria's young workers aren't leaving? Maybe they are.
Check out this article from the TC today. Apparently markets are cooling. Apparently builders aren't getting much for their investments here. But apparently anyone who has owned a home in Victoria, for 5 years responsibly, has a pretty good opportunity to move to a more family friendly place and live with little to nothing in the way of a mortgage.
I should add that wages are pretty similar between Victoria and Regina. I should know. I've been looking very intently.