By Robert Frank
“Interest rates, pricing, value and approval processing time during the coming year are going to be much as they were in 2013,” Ward McAllister forecast.
The only question mark on the horizon, said Ledingham McAllister Properties president, is how Ottawa’s immigration policy could influence Vancouver’s residential real estate market.
“The federal government recently imposed a moratorium on its immigrant investor program,” he explained. “That could affect some 45,000 people who were in the process of coming to the Lower Mainland.”
“Most Asian buyers enter Canada based on professional qualifications or as immigrant investors,” McAllister said. “That could affect the housing market here if the immigration program remains on hold for too long.”
Nonetheless, he predicts that the cities in the region will have to cope with an influx of 650,000-1 million more residents over the course of the decades to come.
“There will be a great deal of pressure on municipalities to densify, in order to handle all the population growth during the next 20 years,” he predicted. “Municipalities have to develop ways to work together to orchestrate a coordinated regional growth strategy that will permit each of them accommodate their fair share of the coming increase.”
“We will see a lot more pressure to densify nodes, especially around rapid transit stations,” he anticipated. “Cities like Vancouver are have been slow to act, even with respect even to the Cambie corridor. They need to pull up become much more proactive about regional planning, rather than self-interest as a single municipality.”
“Vancouver will remain the core business hub,” McAllister expected. “The North Shore, Burnaby Coquitlam and Richmond area—anything West and North of the Fraser River—will definitely be affected.”
“Outlying areas will see increased pressure as well, but not to the same extent as the inner areas,” he added.
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