Studies that analyse people's perceptions of their living environment as an explanatory factor for residential mobility are scarce at best. The study presented in this article addresses this deficit by investigating how people's perceptions of cities as living environments influence their relocation behaviour within metropolitan areas. After gathering information on relocation behaviour from 1,056 survey respondents in the Brussels Capital Region, we analysed the data using our self-developed ‘resonance analysis’ methodology. Our findings indicate that the variability of residential mobility is greatly influenced by people's perceptions of the city. They also demonstrate the ways in which qualitative data on people's perceptions and subjective experiences can be combined with quantitative data to improve statistical predictions of relocation behaviour.