Are Politics Making Things More Difficult for Homebuyers?

 
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Fellow Realtor Sarah Johnston joins me today to talk about how politics are affecting our Calgary market. Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with fellow MaxWell Realtor Sarah Johnston to talk a little bit about how politics and policy are affecting the Calgary real estate market. Sarah recently attended the NAR Annual in Boston, Massachusetts and got the chance to talk with many agents across Canada and the U.S. According to her, although markets in the states vary, they’re doing just fine as a whole. Unemployment levels are low, and they’re keeping up with the cost of inflation. While some markets might be doing better than others, she didn’t notice any areas that were outright struggling. I always like to say that if they sneeze in the states, we in Canada catch a cold, so this news bodes well for our near future. What Sarah is more concerned about right now, though, is what’s happening here in Canada. In her opinion, politics are getting in the way of what’s going on in our market. “I was in Ottawa a month ago with the Political Action Standing Committee for the Calgary Real Estate Board,” she says, “and they didn’t seem to think that housing was a big deal right now—not anything that they wanted to concentrate on.” In fact, it was her impression that they wanted to increase some of the legislative changes coming up, which means it might get more difficult for homebuyers in our market. In addition to a growing concern about Canadians’ household debt loads, we expect to see interest rates continue to increase in 2019. Regulation is essentially collapsing housing industries everywhere outside of the major cities, and our sales haven’t been this low since the late 90s. This trend affects other industries outside of real estate. The housing industry produces between $30 and $40 billion per year, and a lot of other industries make a living off of houses being built and trading hands. The inability to slow that down can have crippling and far-reaching effects. “Regulation is essentially collapsing housing industries everywhere outside of the major cities.” On a lighter note, while at the NAR Annual, Sarah also got a chance to listen to Mark Wahlberg speak. Although Mark is known as an actor, he’s diversified his portfolio and he’s heavily involved in commercial real estate. “It was inspiring, actually, to listen to him. We’ve heard about his past indiscretions. He was a bad apple. He did some terrible, terrible things, but people really like a coming-of-age, good news story, and he’s turned his life around.” There are plenty of lessons to be learned from Mark’s story and how he’s been able to build a franchise around his name by working hard. That’s advice we can use no matter what industry we’re in. I want to thank Sarah for joining me today. If you have any more questions for her, you can reach her at (403) 272-0033 or email her at sarah@sarahjohnston.ca. As always, if you have any more questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

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