The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has reported that people moving into British Columbia (BC) from abroad and from other provinces has increased demand for property in the region.

Carol Frketich, BC regional economist for the CMHC, said that between 1998 and 2002, the Canadian property market experienced a slowdown in construction as around 57,000 people moved out of the BC area.

From 2003 onwards, however, the province has experienced a level of inward migration which has consequently led to increasing levels of housing construction.

"Low mortgage interest rates, increased employment and high levels of consumer confidence were also factors supporting higher levels of housing starts during this period," Ms Frketich added.

It was predicted by the CMHC that 37,000 units of new home construction will take place in 2006 – an increase from the 34,667 seen in 2005.

International migration was also identified as a source of population growth in other areas of Canada, such as Vancouver, one of the most popular destinations for immigrants.

Rental accommodation is expected to benefit particularly in this area, as most new immigrants elect to rent property before purchasing.

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    Carol McDonald