Exactly 9 years ago, in May of 2013, I penned an article for Snapd magazine and our newsletter addressing the then relatively new Places to Grow legislation mandating Guelph’s growth, my own family’s immigrant story, and what we may owe a future generation of Canadians. Canada was, and remains, a beacon for new immigrants. We needed them then, and we need them now, to continue to realize our country’s vast potential. But they need a place to live, and that requires a change to our communities. Drumming up support for change is not always easy, and the roadblocks to new housing supply are greater today than they were in 2013. I concluded the article as follows:

Ironically, the side effect of a lack of development will be increased property values. Supply down = price up. While this is great for those that already own Real Estate, it will make it increasingly difficult for those that don’t to enter the market eventually leading to a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Isn’t that the reason so many immigrants left their homelands in the first place? And if so, am I ready to embrace change? Read More

In the ensuing years, a steady lowering of interest rates helped mask the effects a lack of supply was creating but housing affordability promises to become a key election issue both provincially and municipally. To address the issue, we are beginning to hear suggestions like the introduction of a foreign buyer tax, a vacant house tax, and the banning of blind bidding. All of these appear
reactionary and not designed to address the core issue (unless you happen to believe that our neighbourhoods are filled with empty houses owned by foreigners) – namely- housing supply. The price of any commodity will rise when more than one buyer desires that commodity and
housing is not immune to the law of supply and demand. When twenty potential buyers bid on a house, inevitably 19 will be left disappointed. Changing how owners are allowed to sell their private property will not create homes for the other 19.

Navigating the process of buying or selling real estate has never required more effort, intuition, skill, and up-to-minute knowledge of the marketplace. Accordingly, the value of a realtor and brokerage committed to attaining these traits has never been higher. In the larger picture, we should do what we can to embrace the change that will help make homeownership a dream come true for as many members of our community as possible. In the meantime, it is incumbent upon us to provide industry-leading service to those we are fortunate enough to call our clients.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Neumann
Coldwell Banker Neumann Real Estate, Brokerage