Economic forecasters cautiously optimistic

Cautious optimism was the general theme at the Outlook 2012 economic forecasting forum.

With historically low interest rates, a buyer’s market and a stabilization of home prices, cautious optimism was the general theme at the Outlook 2012 economic forecasting forum.

The sixth annual forum, presented Thursday by 1stView.ca, brought together a series of presentations from industry professionals at the Filberg Centre including keynote speaker Larry Pollock, president and CEO of Canadian Western Bank; Travis Archibald, senior market analyst for Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation; and Shirley de Silva, CEO of the Comox Valley Airport.

The presentations focused upon trends in the Vancouver Island construction and real estate market, with forecasting trends into 2012 and beyond.

Greg Baynton, CEO of the Vancouver Island Construction Association said the Comox Valley has hit a “critical mass,” which he describes as a “tremendously positive indicator for the Valley.”

“The outlook going forward for commercial starts is very good. There’s confidence in the market,” he noted and added overall Canada is ranked ninth in the world for construction activity, but in 10 years, will move to fourth place.

He noted the biggest challenges going forward will be the workforce, and added it is one of the single biggest threat to the industry on the horizon.

“Employers have to start looking at non-traditional solutions to fill the need, such as women and First Nations,” he said.

Pollock echoed Baynton’s theme, and said there is a need to look for skilled labour, perhaps even to the United States.

“It’s a resource we really need to tap,” he noted.

Overall, Pollock said the Canadian economy is faring quite well.

“I don’t believe we’re going to see the calamity in the U.S. (in Canada) because of tax-deductible mortgages and no limits on mortgages. We’re very bullish in Canada; we’re going to see a strong performance out of the country.”

He added the real problem in the worldwide economy is lack of confidence, particularly in stock markets.

“It really does play on our minds. The stock market is driven by fear and greed, and right now, it’s being driven by fear.”

His predictions for the coming year including a stabilization in the Canadian gross domestic product, no dramatic increases in interest rates, a decline in bond yields, and the Canadian dollar rising slightly above par.

The local airport is on track for a three-per-cent increase in passenger traffic this year, de Silva reported. She added there is a possibility of adding a daily service to the U.S., particularly connecting the Valley to Seattle, although the process of securing a route is a lengthy one.

“There is a huge potential of economic impact (with the route), and we’ve met with various airlines, but acquiring a route is a lengthy endeavour,” de Silva said.

Archibald said that, despite record low mortgage rates, housing sales are remaining stable.

“It should be stimulating the market, but it’s the uncertainty in the economy that’s holding people back,” he noted, and added the average home price in the Comox Valley for a single-detached house is just under $400,000.

For more information on 1stView and Building Links, and to view the presentations online, visit www.1stview.ca.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley medical clinics are all open, including the availability to book face-to-face care (i.e. for a physical examination) as per your clinic’s protocol (most clinics operate a “virtual care first” policy). ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Comox Valley doctors offer answers to local COVID health care questions

Public service announcement submitted by the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Artist Jim Holyoak’s installation “Quagmire.” Holyoak will be the first speaker for the Artist Talk Online Winter 2021 series. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College Artist Talk goes online for winter 2021

The series invites contemporary Canadian artists to speak about their professional practice

Colin J.D. Crooks has published his debut novel, a fantasy titled “The Shards of Etherious: Arisen.” (headshot photo courtesy Joslyn Kilborn Photography)
Cumberland author delves into fantasy world with debut novel

The Shards of Etherious: Arisen is the first book of a five-book series

Cathy Browne is very proud of her new front door. All the new doors are lovely and create an individual look for each room. Photo submitted
Courtenay’s Glacier View Lodge dressing up its doorways for residents

Glacier View Lodge’s vision of ‘feels like home’ has been enhanced this… Continue reading

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Most Read