Gov’t ‘overkill’ hurts home sales

All lev­els of gov­ern­ment guilty Hu­dak

Northern News (Kirkland Lake) - - NEWS - RON GRECH

North­ern On­tario is pay­ing the price for leg­is­la­tion in­tended to cool hot hous­ing mar­kets in the GTA and Van­cou­ver, Tim Hu­dak says.

“I get it, the gov­ern­ment was wor­ried about mar­kets in Toronto and Van­cou­ver,” Hu­dak says. “But when gov­ern­ment de­vel­ops pol­icy to ad­dress some of the things in those mar­kets, mort­gages be­come harder to get and places North­ern On­tario are col­lat­eral dam­age.”

Hu­dak, the for­mer leader of the On­tario Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party, calls it “gov­ern­ment overkill.”

Speak­ing in his post-po­lit­i­cal role as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the On­tario Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion, Hu­dak spoke in Tim­mins about hous­ing costs be­ing af­fected by red tape from all lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

“It’s pretty much across the board,” he says. “We’ve seen the mu­nic­i­pal level make it more ex­pen­sive to build homes and there­fore, first-time homes are fur­ther out of reach. The province of On­tario brought in its Fair Tax Plan and then the na­tional gov­ern­ment has seen in­ter­est rate in­creases, and tighter and tighter mort­gage rules.

“It’s a pile-on on all three lev­els that is go­ing to slow down the econ­omy and is sadly mak­ing the dream of find­ing a place to call home fur­ther out of reach for young fam­i­lies and re­cent grad­u­ates.”

Hu­dak was in­tro­duced as the new CEO of OREA in Novem­ber.

Asked if he had any back­ground in real es­tate be­fore tak­ing on this role, Hu­dak replied, “Not di­rectly, but I was a cabi­net min­is­ter when we brought in the gov­ern­ing leg­is­la­tion in 2002. It’s called REBBA (Real Es­tate and Busi­ness Bro­kers Act) -- ba­si­cally the rules of how real es­tate trans­ac­tions should take place.

“An­other part of our dis­cus­sion (within the as­so­ci­a­tion) is how do we mod­ern­ize that, be­cause in 2002, you could have bought a man­sion for what would be a mod­est house to­day. The trans­ac­tions be­come even more com­plex, new tech­nolo­gies that hadn’t been dreamt of then -- so­cial me­dia didn’t ex­ist -- so part of our fo­cus to­day was how do we up­grade the stan­dards to re­flect the mod­ern real es­tate mar­ket, and how do we make sure the ad­vice you get from your real­tor is the high­est stan­dard in North Amer­ica.”

RON GRECH/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Sally Cliff, pres­i­dent of the Tim­mins-Cochrane-Timiskam­ing District As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors, shows Tim Hu­dak, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the On­tario Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion, a print­out of the lat­est real es­tate statis­tics for the area.

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