“I think [falling oil prices] might trickle down a tiny bit, but I see it more as a local thing,” says Mark McLean, a broker at Bosley Real Estate in Toronto. “I see it potentially affecting home values in Calgary and Alberta more generally, but I think it’s a local issue.”
Agents across the country were similarly unfazed by a Bank of Canada report in which Governor Stephen Poloz said the housing market could be overvalued by 10 to 30 per cent. Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s response to that report, promising to look at reining in the market, also didn’t do much to scare agents.
“The properties I follow regularly in most provinces have no over-heated or exaggerated house pricings,” Jackie Laurin, a broker in Ottawa, writes in the REP forum. “Ottawa, for instance, has a reasonably priced residential marketplace and many other cities, such as London, Ont., are still priced extremely – well as is Mississauga and other bedroom communities.”
In fact, agents in busier metropolises say the industry’s greatest challenge is feeding the demand for more property – largely caused by increased immigration to Vancouver, Toronto and their surrounding areas.
Nerses Sraidian, a broker in Markham, Ont., says the market is overloaded with buyers.
“People think there are a lot of buildings going up but there aren’t enough for the demand,” he tells REP. “It’s all about supply and demand and there’s a lot of demand. We need more supply, so I don’t think [housing prices] are overvalued.”
The numbers support that sentiment. McLean says listings are down, but sales are still going strong.
“That leads us to believe that people are now digging into the homes that have been around for a while because there’s such a lack [of inventory],” McLean says. “It’s not typically an interest rate-driven market. That’s a big part of it, but they’re just not making houses anymore. We’re not building as many units as we need. This is a great example of supply and demand.”
Amid falling oil prices, scary reports of market-overvaluation and doomsayers promising a U.S.-style crash, agents are instead pointing to the hyper-local nature of real estate as reason enough for its long-term stability.