CMHC to brokers: Ontario market ready to grow

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All the hype about Alberta’s real estate market may soon be relegated to the past. A regional economist with CMHC is expressing new optimism that it’s really Canada’s most populous province poised for market growth, after a year of “orderly adjustment.”
“We are seeing a rebalancing of economic growth in Canada,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos.  “The West has led Central and Eastern Canada for some time; now it’s Ontario’s turn. Home prices have bottomed and remain stable – and thanks to a strong U.S. economy, Ontario is poised to grow.”
Tsiakopoulos was addressing attendees at yesterday’s IMBA conference in Woodbridge, offering words of encouragement for those weathering a tough year in the broker channel.
“We have had a soft landing,” said Tsiakopoulos. “We have seen an orderly adjustment in the housing market, and that is good news.”
The economist pointed to CMHC numbers showing Ontario’s growth will lean on exports – consisting of 33 per cent of Gross Domestic Product – and not the traditional sector of the housing market, which will only make up 20 per cent of GDP.
“That is good news,” stressed Tsiakopoulos. “The U.S. economy is growing, and 75 per cent of Ontario’s exports go to the United States – and that means economic growth for the province. Presumably it also builds the foundation for another growth spurt in real estate.
“U.S. consumers are driving economic growth,” he added. “There is a lot of pent-up demand after years of paying down debt.”
The “housing gap” between the western provinces and Ontario will quickly be closed, Tsiakopoulos said, as Ontario’s own pent-up demand among first-time buyers is released.
“The first-time buyer sector has slowed but is not dead,” he said. “The pent-up demand among first-time buyers in Ontario from the ‘Echo Boom effect’ – kids of the younger boomers who were born in the 1960s – will be re-entering the market and fuelling the housing market.”

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