THE PUBLISHER’S PAGE – Canada welcomes an increasing number of immigrants every year. Families who have dreams of owning their own homes and properties continue to clamour for the opportunity to come here. They come by the hundreds of thousands, prepared to work hard and contribute to their communities. Anyone with a mere semblance of common sense knows that a strong demand for housing is a foundation for economic stimulation. We have a very strong need for housing in Canada.
We need to look no further than the headlines of our local newspapers to see we have a housing shortage across the land. In fact, most of our major cities are in the midst of a housing crisis.
The formula for success in any business is simply supply and demand. A short supply means an even greater demand. In our present environment of demand for housing, how could anyone in the real estate business think for a minute that they will not be busy and successful in the coming year?
The cost of renting an apartment is now so high that there are people looking at buying homes as a cheaper alternative.
We have land. Developers pick and choose from a discriminating list of areas to build homes. Renovation companies are booking jobs a year in advance these days. We have funding. Never has the financial services industry been more competitive in its attempts to lend money for mortgages.
We have jobs. We have lots of jobs. In fact, many professions are in a crisis. There aren't enough teachers, to name just one example. In some areas there are parents who must come to the schools to help out. We need workers everywhere from the food industry, the service industry, the retail industry, and many others. When was the last time you ever heard of an out of work plumber? Can you name a carpenter who is not overwhelmingly busy today? Can you even say that you know a bricklayer? Nobody knows a bricklayer, there are so few of them.
Are you sure that we are in a recession?
Retail sales are up. Sales of goods and services in October were up by three per cent. And if you don't think that's much then consider this; that is the highest increase in retail sales in a single month since 1959 and these statistics were led by the sale of cars, so don't tell me the auto industry is in a big slump.
Are you sure we are in a recession?
People are looking to buy homes and that means that the demand for Realtors, good Realtors, is very high. The demographics in our society are now changing faster than ever. We are ageing. Our needs are very diverse. We are not just focussed on the brick bungalow in suburbia. We want recreational property. We want to be close to the earth. We need retirement homes. We want to accommodate special needs. We want to be on the waterfront. We want to walk to the train. We don't want to commute. We want a big backyard for the kids. We want an adult only building. Oh man, we want all kinds of homes.
There are many demands out there right now. Ask any Realtor. It is hard enough competing for listings. It is arguably harder meeting the needs of a demanding buyer. It seems to me that you either get a glove and get in the game or stand around and tell people you can't play. I think that a good professional Realtor has got to be pretty busy these days.
Are you really sure we are in a recession?
Some people call our present economic state a recession. I seem to remember that the word recession became common about 30 years ago because some of our politicians did not want to use the word depression. Some people don't even like to use the word recession and choose to say economic correction. There are others who use words like a soft economy.
As far as I am concerned, it doesn't really matter what you call a load of manure, it still stinks, because there's not a whiff of truth to it at all.
The folks who I admire the most look at our economy and don't use any of those words. To them we are not in a recession, depression, correction or a soft economy. They have a completely different word: Opportunity!
I wish you and your family a safe and successful year in 2002.
By: Heino Molls