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New home prices won’t collapse next year, nor will they begin surging again, predicts a market observer with about 30 years of experience in the industry.

“I certainly think prices are going to remain at a fairly stable range,” Cameron McNeill, executive director and partner at MLA Canada, a real estate marketing and insight company, tells Livabl.

Recently, market research firm Urban Analytics estimated new condo prices in Vancouver were between 5 and 15 percent off peak values, depending on the type of unit and location.

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But McNeill suggests population growth in the province is supportive of market stability.

“We’re not seeing that our immigration numbers are slowing down. We’re still seeing positive growth in the province, and that’s continuing to put pressure on our… market,” says McNeill.

McNeill says international migrants often arrive with capital available for the purchase of property. However, interprovincial migration is also encouraging.

“Alberta’s economic woes don’t hurt us,” he explains. “People are not exiting BC to go to Alberta like they have in past economic cycles,” McNeill adds.

In the past when this has occurred, McNeill says there would be an exodus of 5,000 to 8,000 people annually. “And that’s meaningful for us,” he says.

McNeill’s comments on Alberta echo the opinion of Vancouver realtor Adil Dinani, who recently suggested slumping oil prices would benefit the city’s housing market.

“If we see a more suppressed resource market in the first quarter, we may not see the Bank of Canada move rates,” Dinani told Livabl this week. “We all know oxygen for the real estate market is low interest rates,” he adds.

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