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Toronto Real Estate

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Tag Archives: market bottom

First-time buyers help market

Marty Hope, Calgary Herald

If it’s Tuesday, it must be–oh, I don’t know–Vancouver, Calgary, Prince Edward Island? John Geha has racked up plenty of travel time in a really short period of time, winging it from one coast to the other.

He’s been sending out the message that the real estate market is in a recuperative mode – and that first-time buyers are the blood being pumped into it.

“It will be real estate that starts to stimulate the economy,” says Geha, who is the president of Coldwell Banker Canada.

Geha is not only head honcho for the Canadian operations, he is – like everybody in the selling game – a card-carrying optimist.

For instance:

– OK, so the unemployment rate is sitting around six per cent. Ninety-four per cent of the people are still working.

– House prices haven’t dropped, they’ve just become more affordable.

– The downturn did have its good side by allowing first-time buyers to get back into the real estate game.

As for the market bottoming out, fugedaboudit.

Geha is no fan of the term, “bottoming out,” or of people waiting for the bottom before buying.

“I don’t buy into the concept of bottoming out,” he says.

Comment: Heck, even if it did bottom out, the bottom was months ago and we are now back on the upswing. Anyone still waiting for it is just deluding themselves.

“People make the decision to buy based on their personal wants and needs. Is it the right time to buy? If you are comfortable with where you are financially, then now is the time to do it.”

The biggest challenge facing the resale and new housing sectors right across the country has been the lack of consumer confidence.

Where is the economy going? Job creation is sagging and staff reductions are still taking place.

People don’t want to buy a home now and have the price fall still further.

But Geha says there is a sense of a resurging level of confidence.

People are making travel plans for this summer, and retail and telecommunications sales are up.

As well, the financial markets in Canada are in much better shape than in the U. S.

Housing, says Geha, is a bellwether of the strength of the economy. “Everything we do is real estate related,” he says. “Jobs are created and the spinoff is huge.”

Buy a home and you provide construction and renovations jobs, you spend money to furnish and accessorize the home – and there will be a time or two during the move or construction when the family will have to eat out.

“Real estate is a commodity that will not and cannot disappear,” Geha said during a stop in Kelowna.

“We live in it, we work in it, we shop in it and we worship in it. No matter how many downturns there are in the market, real estate eventually always goes up in value.”

First-time buyers are taking advantage of the current market conditions to begin the process of rebuilding the ailing economy.

They are buying, and those they buy from are moving into something else in the market, whether resale or new.

For resale housing, the people they buy from, in turn, are also on the move. One domino tips and the chain reaction begins.

“First-timers are still the fuel needed to get the move-up buyer back in the game, but the key is to price smart–price to sell,” says Geha. “If you’re waiting for another price war, it’s not going to happen for a long while.”

What people should be doing is getting into the market, which then makes it easier to move around in it. It’s something like getting a job with a company that you don’t really want – you want to be with that company, so you take whatever job is available to get inside, thereby increasing your advancement opportunities.

Geha does warn those considering home ownership to not overextend themselves.

“Our recommendation is to be cautious,” he says.

“Buy. Get into the market, because the rates are historically low and prices  are down. But also be patient because the value of the home is going to increase and you’re going to be able to move up if you’re smart throughout the process.”


Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information  –  416-388-1960