Ottawa-based brokers know their market is unlike any in Canada; its cyclical nature contains peaks and valleys, especially as job uncertainty puts home buying on the backburner for many of its citizens.
“Whenever there is a federal election there are a lot of federal members of Parliament who don’t know if they are still going to be in a job after the vote,” Richard Hanoski of Ottawa-Carleton Mortgage told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “So business slows down while everyone waits to see what happens.”
Hanoski says it’s not just the MPs who face job uncertainty – and questions about whether they will still be living in Ottawa following the election – but those employed by MPs as well.
And although they may only account for a small portion of the city’s potential homebuyers, brokers say they have enough buying power to cause a noticeable business lull.
“There are so many people who work for MPs as well and losing, say, 100 of them means a lot of people who are unsure about their future,” he said. “If you work for an MP would you be looking to refinance or purchase a new home? I know I wouldn’t.”
It’s a trend that brokers across the city prepare for, according to one player who says the key in that market is prepping clients for the ebbs and flows.
“The slowdown around this time absolutely happens; it actually starts happening a year out,” Nick Bachusky of Verico
The Mortgage Advisors told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “A lot of those clients make sure, when they do buy, to get a portable mortgage.”
The effects aren’t enough to cause any real imbalances to the market, according to Bachusky, but still something brokers prepare for.
The 42nd Canadian general election will be held October 19 of this year. And while business may be slow leading up to it, brokers can expect renewed interest in the market once the House of Commons is decided.
“It’s a wave,” Hanoski said. “There’s a period of uncertainty prior to the election and an influx of business following as elected officials look to move in.”
It’s a small segment that punches above its weight, and it’s causing a lull in business for brokers in one major city.