Tim Hudak at the Chatham EMERGE conference. October 4, 2017. (Photo Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

Hudak Says More Home Buyers Looking To Southwestern Ontario

Former PC leader and Ontario Real Estate Association CEO Tim Hudak says Southwestern Ontario “seems to be doing quite well” in the real estate market.

Hudak visited Chatham on Wednesday to speak about an upcoming review of Ontario’s Real Estate Brokers and Business Act at the┬áChatham EMERGE conference, which was held at the Retro Suites Hotel.

“More people are discovering Southwestern Ontario as a great place to live. The economy is doing better than it was — it’s not going all cylinders, but that’s also a good sign. The biggest challenge we have is making sure we have enough inventory and enough choice in the marketplace. That’s a big job we do as Ontario realtors to make sure there’s enough choice there so millennials can actually afford a place to call home,” explains Hudak.

Chatham-Kent Association of Realtors Vice President Michael Gibbons says homes in the region are appealing to buyers all across the province because of the low prices.

“We do see a lot of influx from out of area people. It’s just an opportunity for Southwestern Ontario to be able to bring people into a market where, as opposed to the GTA where entry-level homes may be in the $600,000 to $700,000 range, you can [buy a home] at say $150,000 or $200,000,” says Gibbons.

During his visit, Hudak met with members from the Chatham-Kent Association of Realtors. He says it has been great working with them.

“They’re strong professionals and deeply involved in their community. I was very impressed when they went to council recently to talk about how we can get more homes for retirees and seniors, that will be appropriate as you age and more accessible,” explains Hudak.

The former politician has also worked closely with Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was his opponent in the 2014 provincial election, on the Fair Housing Plan.

“Sometimes politics can be a bit like pro-wrestling. You put on a big show for the camera, but you’re colleagues at the end of the day. I’ve been very pleased that Premier Wynne and her ministers have been very open to our suggestions. I think the bottom line is, we’re talking about something so important to the Canadian fabric and that’s making sure that the Canadian dream of home ownership is going to stay within reach,” explains Hudak.

As part of the Realtor Brokers and Business Act Review, proposed recommendations to the Ontario Real Estate Association’s governance structure will be presented at the Assembly on November 18. Hudak encourages those interested in providing input on the act to fill out a survey online.

“We want to make sure that we have a system that’s going to respond efficiently. We’re asking our members, do you want to go to a one vote per member system, as opposed to a delegated convention? Do you want to reduce the size of the board to a more efficient level, so we can make decisions easier? Could we eliminate committees that really bog down the process? Realtors across the province will vote on that in November,” says Hudak.