Every five years, statisticians, analysts and economists eagerly await the slow release of Census data by Statistics Canada. In early February the population and dwelling count tables were released. The figures that immediately caught the attention of the public was the difference between the total dwellings and dwellings "occupied by usual residents."
Perhaps it's time to think about what current housing statistics mean to future home buyers. What it means for our children. Like many in my generation, I have enjoyed the warm glow of the rising market, with little regard for the darker, colder market we are creating for the next generation. I've cheered the price increases on my street, and celebrated the theoretical boost to my bottom line.
Special interest groups have always staged PR events to try and gain coverage, but the real estate industry has decided to take a more "proactive" approach. Some members of the industry are turning regular journalism into "commerce journalism," by manipulating coverage in their favour, sometimes engaging in unethical practices.
My kids want a back yard (and so does my dog), but I don't want to double or triple my mortgage for a piece of grass and a couple extra feet between me and my neighbours. Many have suggested we move farther afield, but I don't want to uproot the family, take my son out of his school and my daughter way from her friends -- that is the dilemma.
This practice is indicative of agents treating each other unethically, and is harmful to our entire profession. Agents who choose to cut others out for the sake of greater commission aren't just cheating their seller. I see this as a short-sighted race to the bottom, and a practice that harms us all as real estate professionals.
If you're lucky enough to own a small slice of the GTA's pricey property pie, you could find yourself among those vehemently opposed to any new development in their neighbourhood. After all, established Toronto hot spots like The Annex, Bloor West Village and Mount Pleasant are full, right? But here's the problem.