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Market Insight Forum: Innovation in Real Estate

We Connect Customers to Industry Experts

Teranet is committed to connecting our customers to ecosystem platform solutions and data insights. One way that we connect customers to insights they need is through our Market Insight Forums. The latest virtual forum took place on June 8th, and featured a panel of esteemed industry experts: Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Jason Mercer, Chief Market Analyst at Toronto Regional Real Estate Board and Joe Vaccaro, Founder and President of RIOS. Tim, Jason and Joe were hosted by Teranet’s CIO, Fariba Rawhani, to discuss issues surrounding housing affordability and lack of supply.

The 90-minute session began with a discussion between our panelists about the factors that are contributing to the housing affordability crisis in Ontario and across Canada. Tim, Joe and Jason discussed solutions to this problem in relation to the recent provincial election. “The political discussion around how to respond to the housing crisis has been going on for ten years,” Joe Vaccaro pointed out, “in this election all political parties recognized that we need to build 1.5 million homes in the next ten years. For all of these parties to finally agree on this was a major step forward.” As a member of the Housing Affordability Task Force assembled by the Ontario government, Tim Hudak was happy that in the election “the barometer moved to focus on the supply issue as opposed to trying to suppress the demand issue and make people poorer.” Tim hopes that moving forward the government will focus on the “as of right” recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force’s report, which gives a greater ability of property owners to “as of right” make adjustments to their properties to make more livable spaces. “For example, under-utilized commercial and government properties should “as of right” have the ability to convert these to residential or mixed-use residential properties,” said Tim. Jason Mercer added that “what we’re talking about here is further economic development. We’ve left a lot of contribution to GEP, jobs, [and] tax revenues to different levels of government on the table because we haven’t been able to get housing built.”

Our panelists also shared their thoughts about areas in the real estate industry that are ripe for innovation and what policy changes are necessary to continue to see our housing market and economy thrive.

What did our panelists think about the Government of Canada’s 2022 federal budget?

  1. Before 2017 about 5% of transactions in the GTA were accounted for by foreign buyers. Since the Foreign Buyers Tax was instated, that number has dropped to about 1%. Policies pointed at this activity are focused on such a small slice of the pie that it doesn’t really move the needle on addressing supply issues.
  2. The federal government focused on assignment of sales in the budget, but the conversation around this topic isn’t as informed as it needs to be. When condominiums break ground about 80% of the units are already sold. This is necessary because it’s how the builder finances the building. The assignment window becomes an opportunity for an individual who bought a unit to sell it. Without the 80% of units being sold originally the building wouldn’t be built, so these assignment of sales are actually good for the market.
  3. There is a need for beneficial ownership registries in Canada as it will stop individuals from hiding behind numbered companies when purchasing a home and prevent dirty money from being used in real estate transactions.

To hear all that Tim, Jason and Joe had to say, click here to watch the full recording of the Market Insight Forum.

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