Big city life is out. The suburbs are in.

At least that’s the case presented by a new poll from the Bank of Montreal, which suggests 47 per cent of first-time homebuyers in this country are looking to the suburbs.

More than one-third of survey respondents say they’re looking at smaller cities, while just 30 per cent of would-be buyers said they’re looking at a big urban hub like Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto. Of those interested in purchasing a home in a big city, most cite being close to work, and not wanting to leave the area they currently live in as the main factors.

Suburban and small-city shoppers are in pursuit of affordability, and a larger home — something that’s become increasingly important to buyers amid the work from home movement.

“With remote work expected to continue over the long-term, first-time homebuyers have the flexibility to look for a home that isn't necessarily next door to where they work,” said Hassan Pirnia, head of personal lending and home financing products at the Bank of Montreal, in a statement.

“Between this added work flexibility and price appreciation in some major cities, the expectation is that we will continue to see a push into the suburbs.”

The bank’s survey polled 1,000 Canadians who said they were planning on purchasing a home in the next 12 months.

Among them, 61 per cent said they want a detached home, 32 per cent said they are shopping for a townhouse, and just 28 per cent said they want a semi-detached house or a condo.