India, not China, will shape the future of PEI's housing market

India, not China, will shape the future of PEI's housing market

India, not China, will shape the future of PEI

Prince Edward Island currently attracts more Indian immigrants compared to any other nation, according to data from the provincial government.

In the last few years, the number of PEI newcomers from India has significantly increased, from just 16 arriving in 2014-15 to a massive 401 in the 2018-19 period. To compare, 117 immigrants came from China in 2018-19.

India accounted for fully 42% of the nominees accepted to PEI over the past year. Most of these Indian nationals are skilled professionals attracted to Canada’s flourishing industries.

“I think people are seeing Prince Edward Island as a destination of choice where opportunities exist. And we’ve been recruiting actively to attract folks that do want to stay and raise families here,” according to Mary Hunter, director of operations at the province’s Office of Immigration.

Moreover, Hunter told CBC News that newcomers from India have far less difficulty establishing new roots in PEI as they already have a strong command of English, as opposed to Chinese immigrants.

This is expected to have significant ripples upon PEI’s housing sector, which is becoming an increasingly valuable market. For instance, The Island’s total dollar value of all residential home sales in September 2019 spiked up by 15.9% year-over-year.

This fed into higher average prices, which grew by 17.2% annually to reach $250,955. Meanwhile, the number of sales back in September ticked down by 1.1%, although it’s still 7.7% higher than the 10-year average for that month.

The trend of more incoming Indian nationals was also apparent on a regional basis, with these immigrants comprising 18% of Atlantic Canada’s new permanent residents. Nationally, those from India accounted for 25% of all new residents – from 28,943 newcomers in 2012 to 74,455 in 2019.