As the price of an average house in the beautiful city nears $1.3 million Canadian, young tech workers are moving out, leaving worried business leaders behind.
Kevin Oke had a millennial’s dream job in Vancouver, B.C., working as lead designer at a video-game company whose clients included Atari and Ubisoft Entertainment, but he still couldn’t afford a house. So he left his native city. “Housing in Vancouver is insane — it was insane when I left and it’s more insane now,” said Oke, who co-founded educational-software company LlamaZoo Interactive after moving to Victoria, B.C., in 2014. “If you’re trying to do the startup thing full time, it would have been really difficult with all the expenses.”
Oke, now 33, is part of the millennial retreat from a city where housing prices have skyrocketed at a faster pace than even in San Francisco, another North American technology locus. Rising costs are putting Vancouver’s vaunted growth engine at risk as the city hemorrhages people employed in tech and new media for more affordable locales, including Victoria and Kelowna.
The flight of millennials from Vancouver is similar to trends found in other cities with soaring home prices.
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