Immigrant buyers may save Vancouver market

Vancouver may soon rebound from the negativity surrounding its real estate market thanks in large part to its immigrant population growth, according to analysis released by the Conference Board of Canada Thursday.

Mario Lefebvre, director of the Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies, refutes the claim that the Vancouver market is heading into bubble territory.

He suggests the market will be increasingly insulated by the kind of healthy in-migration needed to protect demand and so prices and sales volumes.

"The foreign-born population can significantly alter the landscape of a country's housing market,” Lefebvre says. “As long as you have population growth, people will need housing.”

Prices in Vancouver have experienced an average annual increase of 6.4 per cent since 1981, according to Lefebvre. If immigration continues as projected, this upward trend is expected to continue, despite the recent month-over-month declines grabbing headlines.

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