Last week, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation hosted their 18th annual Housing Outlook Conference in Vancouver.

Royal LePage City Centre real estate agent and best-selling author Deb Abbey attended and reported on the event for the Vancouver Courier.

In her article, Abbey says the conference presenters – seasoned analysts who objectively interpret the numbers from the real estate boards, the Census, their own surveys and other sources of data – do a good job of “taking the hysteria out the statistics.”

“Robyn Lake, a senior market analyst with CMHC described the outlook as cautiously optimistic,” Abbey writes for the Courier. “The optimism springs from three important indicators of economic stability: low mortgage rates, improving employment numbers and increasing migration to B.C. from across Canada and abroad.”

On the immigration front, Abbey notes a particularly interesting statistic as it relates to homeownership in Vancouver.

“According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada,” the article reads, “17 per cent of new immigrants become homeowners within six months of arrival and more than half are homeowners within four years.”

That number is important because, as Abbey points out, immigration levels are rebounding near 2010 levels (which peaked at 42,826 new immigrants) with about 34,000 new immigrants in 2012 and 40,000 expected in 2013.

It’s part of the reason why Lake views Vancouver as a buyer’s market until mid-year when the housing supply has normalized.

The entire article is an interesting read, with Abbey getting into why the downward trend in average prices in Vancouver may not be exactly what it seems.

“… [the downward trend is] a result of a shift in the market from high end homes on the West Side towards lower priced real estate in every area of the city,” Abbey writes.

The moral of the story?

“Be very cautious. And very optimistic!”

For all the analysis, be sure to read the entire article here.

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