As we know, population growth (and thus, immigration) is a crucial demand driver for the housing industry, and for the growth of the overall economy. According to a recent equity research report by TD Bank, in 2019, Canadian immigration averaged about 28,400 people/month. The total number for 2019 was 341,175 people. Not surprisingly, earlier this year the number of new immigrants drastically declined with the closing of our borders. In March, immigration levels were at approximately 18,560 people/month and this number dropped off even further, bottoming out in April with only 4,135 immigrants being admitted to the country. While it’s unlikely that Canada will meet its 2020 target of 320,000 to 370,000 new immigrants, it’s important to note that we have started to see recovery, and immigration levels seem to be on the rebound. In June of this year, Canada welcomed 19,175 new immigrants.
Canada’s three-year goal (2020-2022) remains 1 million new immigrants. TD is of the opinion that this target is still attainable, as this “short-term immigration headwind” is likely to flip into a tailwind once our borders become more porous and we get to the other side of this pandemic.
It is reassuring to know that this blip in the level of new immigrants is more of a short-term disruption than a long-term structural change. Canada remains one of the greatest countries in the world and therefore, we will continue to attract smart and ambitious people from all over. Not only is this good news for the economy at the national level, but if Regina is able to successfully attract newcomers at the rate that it has over the last few years we are likely to see an increase in housing market activity and a subsequent boost in our economy at the municipal level.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), in 2019, Regina welcomed the second highest number of migrants per capita in all of Canada, beating out even Toronto. Regina’s share of newcomers in 2019 was close to 2.4 per cent of its population. Welcoming even one per cent of a jurisdiction’s population, whether it is at the national, provincial, or municipal level is a major milestone in Canada. Attaining this level of immigration is a significant means of promoting economic growth – as the two best ways to grow an economy are by welcoming more people and using those people more productively in the labour market. Therefore, by striving to be a city that offers the quality of life that current citizens expect and that prospective citizens will value, Regina has immense potential to attract new immigrants, to grow and achieve economic prosperity.