Transcript: Is It Time for a Real Estate Industry Shake-Up | Apr 08, 2021

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale blue shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Is it time for a real estate industry shake-up? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says BIDDING WARS FOR SOUGHT AFTER PROPERTIES AREN'T NEW IN BIG URBAN CENTRES IN THIS PROVINCE. BUT HOUSES AND COTTAGES GOING WAY OVER ASK IN MUCH OF THE PROVINCE SURE IS. AND WHILE THAT MAKES SOME PEOPLE HAPPY... SELLERS, THOSE WORKING ON COMMISSION, AND MAYBE EVEN THE PROVINCE'S TREASURERS... IT'S A TOUGH TIME FOR BUYERS. WOULD CHANGE IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY ITSELF HELP MODERATE OVER-HEATED TIMES SUCH AS THESE? LET'S GET INTO THAT WITH FIVE GUESTS, ALL OF THEM IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, AND AS IS OUR CUSTOM, WE'LL INTRODUCE THEM FROM FURTHEST AWAY TO CLOSEST TO OUR STUDIO, STARTING IN: THE VICTORIA VILLAGE SHANE DINGMAN, HE'S A REAL ESTATE REPORTER FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL...

Shane is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a checkered red shirt.

Steve continues IN DON MILLS, ONTARIO: LISA PATEL, PRESIDENT OF THE TORONTO REGIONAL REAL ESTATE BOARD...

Lisa is in her forties, with long black hair. She's wearing a white blazer, purple blouse and a golden necklace.

Steve continues IN TRINITY-BELLWOODS DOWNTOWN: SCOTT INGRAM, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT AND A REALTOR WITH CENTURY 21 REGAL REALTY...

Scott is in his fifties, with short gray hair and a mustache. He's wearing a patterned dark blue shirt.

Steve continues IN BEDFORD PARK TIM HUDAK, CEO OF THE ONTARIO REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION...

Tim is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt and spotted orange tie.

Steve continues AND RIGHT NEAR US AT YONGE AND EGLINTON: OR AS WE LIKE TO CALLING IT YOUNG AND ELIGIBLE: DAVELLE MORRISON, A BROKER WITH BOSLEY REAL ESTATE, Ltd BROKERAGE...

Davelle is in her thirties, with short curly chestnut hair. She's wearing a blue blouse and silver hoop earrings.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU FIVE WITH US ON TVO TONIGHT. I'M GOING TO START BECAUSE WE DO THIS FROM TIME TO TIME. IN THE INTERESTS OF FULL DISCLOSURE, HOW MANY PEOPLE HERE LIVE IN A HOME THAT THEY HAVE PURCHASED AND OWN, OR THE BANK OWNS IT, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT? HANDS UP, PLEASE. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE. EVERYBODY. OKAY. SO WE GET THAT ON THE RECORD JUST IN THE INTERESTS OF FULL DISCLOSURE. SHANE, START US OFF. BLIND BIDDING HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS A LOT LATELY AND WE WANT TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IMPACT THAT HAS ON PRICES. HOW DOES BLIND BIDDING WORK?

The caption changes to "Shane Dingman. The Globe and Mail."
Then, it changes again to "The blind bidding system."

Shane says IN ONTARIO, YOU CAN HAVE ANY NUMBER OF WAYS TO PRESENT AN OFFER. BUT WHEN SOMEBODY HOLDS OFFERS OR THEY ENCOURAGE MULTIPLES, WHAT HAPPENS IS THEY PUT A DATE MAYBE ON A PIECE OF PAPER AND THEY SAY, OKAY, EVERYBODY, ON THIS DAY I WANT YOU TO PRESENT YOUR BEST OFFER. WHEN THEY SAY BEST OFFER, THEY REALLY MEAN IT. BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT GOING TO KNOW WHAT THE OTHER OFFERS THERE. YOU GO IN THERE WITH YOUR MAXIMUM BID IN MOST CASES AND YOU TRY TO GET IT. THE REALITY IS THAT THERE'S SORT OF A LOT OF GAMESMANSHIP THAT GETS PLAYED HERE AND I'M SURE THE REALTORS ON THE PANEL WILL SPEAK TO THIS MORE IN THEIR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, BUT OFTENTIMES THEY'LL PRICE IT AT AN ENTICING LEVEL OR 699 OR A CONDO OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, WHEN IN REALITY THAT CONDO IS WORTH 880. THE GOAL IS TO TRY TO GET AS MANY BIDDERS IN AS POSSIBLE. WHEN YOU HAVE SOLD ASKING NUMBERS THAT ARE 260,000 dollars OVER ASKING, YOU CAN SAY THAT'S FROTH IN THE MARKET, IT IS, BUT IT'S UNDERPRICING. THE WAY THE BIDS WORK IS EVERYBODY TAKES A BLIND SHOT AT THEIR BEST POSSIBLE OFFER, AND THAT AUTOMATICALLY CREATES SORT OF A HIGHER PRICE THAN YOU MIGHT NORMALLY HOPED TO HAVE PAID.

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT. WE'LL GO TO SOME OF THE REAL ESTATE GUYS ON THE PANEL. DAVELLE, IN YOUR VIEW, DOES BLIND BIDDING INAPPROPRIATELY OR IN A DISTORTED WAY PUSH UP PRICES BEYOND WHAT THEY REALLY OUGHT TO BE?

The caption changes to "Davelle Morrison. Bosley Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage."

Davelle says I THINK THAT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT A LOT OF DIFFERENT FACTORS. SO DO I THINK THAT BLIND BIDDING WORKS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE SELLER? YES, IT ABSOLUTELY DOES. HOWEVER, CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING IN AN AUCTION AND SIZING UP THE COMPETITION AS A BUYER AND GOING, OH, I CAN SPEND MORE. OH, THAT PERSON LOOKS LIKE THIS. OH, I CAN SPEND MORE. AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU DON'T HAVE ANY TIME TO THINK, YET YOU'RE NOW DRIVING... YOU'RE SAYING THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND MORE AND MORE MONEY. WHAT I LOVE ABOUT OUR PROCESS RIGHT NOW IS IT ACTUALLY GIVES BUYERS TIME TO THINK. THEY DON'T HAVE TO MAKE A SPLIT DECISION. WHEN THEY'RE ASKED FOR MORE MONEY, THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSULT WITH THEIR LENDER, THEIR BANKER, THEIR MORTGAGE BROKER. THEY ACTUALLY HAVE TIME TO THINK: IS THIS THE BEST DECISION FOR ME? IF YOU MOVE TO A DECISION WHERE PEOPLE ARE MAKING A SPLIT DECISION SORT OF AUCTION STYLE, NOBODY ACTUALLY HAS TIME TO THINK. AND I THINK THAT THAT'S A HUGE PROBLEM.

Steve says SCOTT, WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Scott Ingram. Century 21 Regal Realty."

Scott says YEAH, I JUST LIKE IT. I JUST LIKE IT. YOU KNOW, YOU TALK ABOUT [inaudible]. THE PART THAT I DON'T LIKE, SO EVERY REALTOR AND THEIR CLIENTS ARE MADE AWARE OF THE NUMBER OF TOTAL OFFERS, AND THAT'S IT, RIGHT? THERE'S NO... NO OTHER DETAILS. BUT WE'RE ALL TOLD TO BRING YOUR BEST OFFER AND THEN MAYBE, IF THINGS ARE CLOSE AND EVERY REALTOR'S DEFINITION OF "CLOSE" VARIES WILDLY, IF YOU'RE CLOSE, YOU MAY BE INVITED BACK FOR A SECOND ROUND. AND THEN IN THAT SECOND ROUND, I MEAN, THAT'S WHERE THE REAL NUTTINESS HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE ARE FEELING THE PRESSURE BECAUSE, "OH, I'M CLOSE, I'M CLOSE." AND THEN YOU DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S 5,000 OR 50,000 dollars AND YOU DON'T KNOW IF YOU ARE THE PERSON AHEAD BY 50,000 dollars OR BEHIND BY 50,000 dollars, AND YET YOU ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE. SO THE WAY THINGS ARE ALLOWED TO BE NOW, LIKE PEOPLE CAN BID AGAINST THEMSELVES, WHICH I THINK IS... NOT ALL REALTORS WILL PERMIT THAT. I MEAN, IN MY PRIVATE... IN MY AUCTION OR, SORRY, OFFER NIGHT, I DON'T ALLOW SOMEONE TO BID AGAINST THEMSELVES. BUT OTHERS DO.

Steve says OKAY. LET ME READ THIS TWEET OUT HERE AND TIM HUDAK, I'LL GET YOU TO RESPOND FIRST TO THIS TWEET. THIS IS FROM SOMEONE NAMED BEN WHO RUNS NORTH COVE ADVISORS WHO COVER HOUSING ISSUES AND SAYS...

A tweet by user @BenRabidoux pops up on screen. It reads "Spoke to a realtor friend who told me about a recent sale where their client (the seller) received two bids on the house, one at ask price and one 175k dollars or almost 10 percent above ask. There were only 2 offers. Blind bidding process needs to seriously be reexamined."

Steve says SO SAYS BEN. WHAT SAYS TIM?

The caption changes to "Tim Hudak. Ontario Real Estate Association."

Tim says WELL, NUMBER ONE, GOVERNMENTS OF ALL STRIPES, WHETHER PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL, OR NEW DEMOCRAT, HAVE HAD THE VIEW THAT A HOME OWNER SHOULD DECIDE HOW THEY SELL THEIR HOME. THAT IS, AFTER ALL, THEIR PERSONAL PROPERTY. THEY WILL BE MAKING DECISIONS ON WHAT KIND OF HOME THEY WANT TO BUY, THEIR RETIREMENT, AND IT'S HUMAN NATURE TO TRY TO GET THE BEST RETURN YOU CAN BECAUSE YOU'RE PLANNING FOR YOUR FUTURE. I THINK THE REAL ISSUE HERE, STEVE, IS NOT THE SYSTEM OF BIDDING, IT'S A LACK OF INVENTORY AND SUPPLY IN THE MARKETPLACE AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT IN A MOMENT. IT'S SAD. I TOTALLY GET THE BUYERS' FRUSTRATION. MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR HOMES AND FEWER AREAS TO FIND THAT HOME. WE GET FRUSTRATED. PRICES GO UP. IT'S NOT HOW YOU ARRANGE THE CHAIRS. IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA WHERE OPTIONS ARE COMMON, THEY'RE NOT MANDATED, THEY'RE COMMON, THEY'RE EXPERIENCING THE EXACT SAME THING. THEY'RE HAVING RECORD HIGH PRICES. THEY HAVE A LACK OF INVENTORY AND AN INCREASED SIDE OF DEMAND. IT'S NOT THAT YOU'RE ARRANGING THE CHAIRS, IT'S GETTING MORE INVENTORY IN THE MARKETPLACE TO MAKE SURE HOME OWNERSHIP STAYS WITHIN REACH.

Steve says SINCE YOU MENTION AUSTRALIA, WE HAVE A CLIP OF HOW IT WORKS DOWN UNDER, AND, LISA, I'LL GET YOU TO WATCH THIS AND COMMENT FIRST ON THIS PROCESS, OKAY? SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD?

A clip plays on screen.

In the clip, a group of people gather around on a sidewalk in a residential neighbourhood on a sunny day.

A balding man in his forties says LET'S GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD. WHO IS GOING TO GIVE ME A START NOW. HOW ABOUT WE KICK IT OFF AT 850,000 dollars. IT'S CERTAINLY WORTH MORE THAN THAT. PUT UP YOUR HAND IF YOU WANT TO START AT 850. YOU SHOULDN'T BE HESITATING AT THAT PRICE.

A man standing in the small crowd raises his hand.

The balding man says 850. WELCOME TO THE BIDDING HERE. WE CAN START NOW AT 870. 90, CAN I MAKE IT?

Another man raises his hand.

The balding man says 90. 920,000. GREAT, STRONG BIDDING. WELCOME TO THE BIDDING SIR.

The clip ends.

Steve says LISA, SHOULD WE DO THAT HERE?

The caption changes to "Lisa Patel. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board."

Lisa says YOU KNOW, MY SENTIMENTS ARE VERY MUCH ALIGNED WITH TIM HUDAK, AND I MUST SAY, THE SELLERS... OBVIOUSLY WHEN WE THINK ABOUT HOUSES TODAY, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE SELLERS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT OF HOW THEY WANT THEIR HOME MARKETED. WE ALSO NEED TO KEEP IN MIND THAT, YOU KNOW, EVEN THOUGH THAT WORKS IN AUSTRALIA, THAT'S NOT GOING TO WORK EVERYWHERE. AND WE HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT EVEN WITH BLIND BIDDING AND THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, THE NEW REAL ESTATE SERVICE ACT IN ONTARIO ALSO ADDRESSES THIS BY GIVING THE SELLER THE OPTION TO JUST CLOSE COMPETING PRICE OFFERS. THE INDUSTRY IS ASKING THE PROVINCE ALSO TO ACQUIRE THE BUYER'S CONSENT. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND. BUT IF WE'RE GOING TO MOVE TO A SYSTEM SIMILAR, CONSENT MUST BE HEIGHTENED AND IT MUST BE CONSENT FROM BOTH THE BUYER AND SELLER, SO ALL PARTIES DISCLOSE CONFIDENTIAL OFFERS, OFFER PRICES THAT COULD... BECAUSE IT COULD COMPROMISE THEIR NEGOTIATION POSITIONS. BUT AS TIM SAID, WHAT THIS IS IS DEFINITELY A SUPPLY ISSUE, AND I CAN SAY, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THEY FOCUSED ON THEIR MARKET REVIEW REPORT, THEY HIGHLIGHTED MISSING MIDDLE RESEARCH. I'D ENCOURAGE EVEN MORE PEOPLE TO LOOK AT THAT REPORT THAT WAS PUT OUT ON TRREB.CA.

Steve says I'M INTRIGUED BY THIS AUSTRALIAN EXAMPLE. TIM, I'LL GET YOU BACK IN ON THIS. I CAN APPRECIATE HOW PERHAPS IN SUDBURY ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON WHEN IT'S minus 25 OUTSIDE, THAT MAY NOT BE THE EASIEST THING TO REPLICATE. BUT, HAVING SAID THAT, ARE THEY ON THE SOMETHING THERE THAT WE OUGHT TO LOOK INTO HERE?

The caption changes to "Tim Hudak, @timhudak."

Tim says WELL, IT IS AN OPTION. LISA PATEL TALKED ABOUT THE PROCESS. WE DID IT WITH THE WYNNE GOVERNMENT. WE TALKED ABOUT HOW TO HAVE MORE CHOICES IN THE MARKETPLACE OF HOW TO BUY OR SELL YOUR HOME. THAT WAS FOLLOWED UP BY THE FORD GOVERNMENT. MORE CLEAR OPTIONS HOW TO DO SO. IT'S ALREADY EXISTED IN ONTARIO. BUT IT'S ONLY RECEIVED ABOUT 1 OR 2 percent OF THE MARKET THAT TYPICALLY GOES WAY AND TYPICALLY AROUND AGRICULTURAL PROPERTIES. MOST PEOPLE WATCHING IN GENERAL WOULD BE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THAT. NOT ON MY FRONT LAWN, TIM HUDAK WAS SMOKING CIGARS OR DIDN'T TAKE CARE OF THE PLACE. SCAM ARTISTS WHO PUSH UP THE PRICE AND GET AUCTION FEVER GOING. I'LL STICK WITH MY GUNS, STEVE. IT'S NOT HOW YOU SELL THE HOUSE, IT'S LACK OF INVENTORY. IN GOOD GOVERNMENT POLICY, THAT'S GOING TO WORK IN UP MARKETS OR DOWN, BECAUSE WE'RE ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE THEM.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says DAVELLE, CAN YOU IMAGINE DOING IT THAT WAY?

The caption changes to "Davelle Morrison, @DavelleMorrison."

Davelle says NO, NOT AT ALL. AND TO BE HONEST, I WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO STAY OUT. I FIND THAT THEY DON'T DO ENOUGH RESEARCH TO FIND OUT WHAT ALL THE PROBLEMS ARE, AND SO WHEN THEY CREATE MORE POLICIES, THEY END UP CREATING MORE PROBLEMS. AND SO TO ME, I THINK WE HAVE TO KIND OF DIAL BACK TO, WHY ARE PEOPLE EVEN ASKING THIS QUESTION ABOUT BLIND BIDDING? THEY'RE ASKING IT BECAUSE THEY DON'T FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS FAIR BECAUSE THEY'RE LOSING. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE WINNERS AND LOSERS. AND IT ALMOST FEELS TO ME LIKE, YOU KNOW HOW THE KIDS NOW GET PARTICIPATION BADGES FOR RACES INSTEAD OF GETTING FIRST, SECOND, THIRD? YOU KNOW WHAT? WE NEED TO HAVE FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD. THERE'S A REASON FOR THAT. WE CAN'T TURN REAL ESTATE INTO A SEGMENT OF GETTING PARTICIPATION BADGES TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IF MORE PEOPLE WANT TO BUY MORE HOUSES, I GO BACK TO TIM'S COMMENT, WE NEED MORE SUPPLY. AND UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK, IN ORDER TO FREE UP MORE SUPPLY, THERE NEEDS TO BE A LOT MORE WORK DONE BY MUNICIPALITIES AND GOVERNMENT TO FREE UP THE SUPPLY, AND IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THAT WORK. SO INSTEAD THEY WANT TO BLAME BLIND BIDDING AS THE REASON WE WE'RE HAVING THIS ISSUE.

Steve says OKAY, BUT, DAVELLE, LET ME PUSH BACK A LITTLE BIT, INASMUCH AS THERE'S NO PARTICIPATION RIBBONS WHEN YOU'RE BIDDING FOR A HOUSE. SOMEONE WINS. LOTS OF PEOPLE LOSE. THAT'S THE WAY IT IS RIGHT NOW. RIGHT?

Davelle says BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF DEMAND. BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SUPPLY. AND SO, AGAIN, IF WE GO BACK TO ULTIMATELY WHAT PEOPLE ARE UPSET ABOUT IS THAT THEY'RE NOT GETTING A CHANCE TO GET THE HOUSE. IF YOU WANT HOUSE PRICES TO GO DOWN, YOU'VE GOT TO CREATE MORE SUPPLY. AND SO UNTIL WE START CREATING MORE SUPPLY, WE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE THIS ISSUE OF TOO MANY BIDDERS ON A PARTICULAR HOUSE BECAUSE THERE ARE FEWER AND FEWER OF THEM TO BUY.

Steve says SHANE, TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL UNFAIRNESS IN HOME BUYING AND SELLING RIGHT NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS, IF YOU THINK THERE IS ONE?

The caption changes to "Shane Dingman, @shanedingman."

Shane says I THINK I HEAR WHAT DAVELLE IS SAYING, BUT, TO YOUR POINT, A PARTICIPATION BADGE IS YOU MISS OUT ON A HOUSE BY 100,000 dollars, RIGHT? YOU'RE ALREADY WILLING TO SPEND IN TORONTO 1.7 MILLION DOLLARS. YOU DIDN'T WANT TO SPEND 1.8 MILLION DOLLARS, SO YOU LOST THE HOUSE. EVERYONE HERE IS TALKING ABOUT, TO BE FAIR TO THE REALTORS ON THE PANEL AND THE PEOPLE REPRESENTING REALTORS. IT IS IN THE BUYER'S DISCRETION WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO HAVE A BID SYSTEM THAT IS OPEN OR CLOSED. THEY COULD HAVE IT OPEN. BUT IT'S NOT IN THEIR INTERESTS. SO WHY WOULD WE EXPECT THEM TO SAY, YOU KNOW, TO BE ABLE TO KNOW. YOU ONLY HAVE TO BID 5,000 MORE DOLLARS TO WIN THIS HOME. WHEN, IF IT'S BLIND, THEY COULD WIN 100,000 dollars MORE TO WIN THE HOUSE, FROM SCOTT'S EXAMPLE. THE BUYER IS THE ONE THAT CONTROLS THIS PROCESS IN ONTARIO, AND YOU COULD EASILY MAKE A CHANGE IN LEGISLATION BY SAYING, IF THE BUYER WISHES TO HAVE AN OPTION, IT MUST BE OPEN. YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE AN AUCTION, BUT IF YOU WANT ONE, IT SHOULD BE OPEN. THAT'S ONE WAY TO MAKE IT THE BUYER HAS SOME CHOICE BUT THE... SORRY, THE SELLER HAS THE CHOICE BUT THE BUYER CAN ALSO CHOOSE. THE OTHER THING YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT, OFTENTIMES WHEN REALTORS TALK ABOUT BUYING A HOME IS THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL DECISION OF YOUR LIFE AND THEN THEY TURN AROUND AND SAY, BUT, IF YOU'RE BUYING THAT HOME, YOU DON'T DESERVE TO HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION IN THE MARKET. YOU SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO KNOW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE BIDDING FOR THE HOUSE. THAT IS NOT FAIR TO THE SELLER. I KIND OF THINK IT HAS TO BE ONE OR THE OTHER. EITHER IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU NEVER EVERY PROTECTION A FAIR SYSTEM CAN OFFER YOU, OR IT'S NOT, IT'S A FREE-FOR-ALL AND YOU CAN BID WHATEVER THE MARKET WILL GO FOR. AT THE SAME TIME I RECOGNIZE THESE HOUSES DON'T GET SOLD UNLESS A SELLER IS WILLING TO GO OUT THERE AND SELL IT. SO YOU NEED THE SELLER TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS. AT THE SAME TIME, WITH THE CURRENT SYSTEM, I THINK WE JUST HAD OUR BIGGEST MARCH EVER, 15,000 HOMES SOLD IN THE GTA. THAT'S AN ENORMOUS NUMBER. SO PEOPLE ARE CLEARLY ABLE TO BUY EVEN IF PRICES OF AN AVERAGE DETACHED HOME IN THE 905 IS 1.3 MILLION DOLLARS, THERE ARE BUYERS. THE SELLERS ARE THE ONES WHO CONTROL HOW MUCH THEY PAY.

Steve says SO PEOPLE ARE CLEARLY ABLE TO BUY. LET'S CLARIFY, SOME PEOPLE ARE CLEARLY ABLE TO BUY. OTHERS ARE GETTING SHUT OUT. SCOTT, DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL UNFAIRNESS IN THE HOME BUYING AND SELLING SYSTEM IN ONTARIO RIGHT NOW?

The caption changes to "Scott Ingram, @areacode416."

Scott says I WOULDN'T SAY FUNDAMENTAL, BUT I THINK THE PROBLEM HERE BOILS DOWN TO TRANSPARENCY. AND, TO ME, MORE TRANSPARENT FEELS GOOD IN MANY FACETS OF LIFE. BUT I THINK THAT'S WHAT REALLY BUGS PEOPLE WITH THIS WHOLE BLIND BIDDING BLACK BOX MYSTERY THING. WHEN YOU'RE DOING A REGULAR OLD-FASHIONED DEAL, NEGOTIATION, "HERE'S MY OFFER," "HERE'S MY COUNTER-OFFER," "HERE'S MY OFFER," EVERYTHING IS ABOVE BOARD. YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON. BUT WHEN YOU'RE GETTING BEHIND THE MULTIPLE OFFER PROCESS AND YOU'RE ASKED TO IMPROVE YOUR OFFER AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU STAND, THAT'S WEIRD AND IT'S MORE POWER TO THE SELLER. INSTEAD OF GETTING MORE OPTIONS FOR WAYS TO SELL YOUR HOUSE, I THINK IT'S BETTER IF WE HAD LESS OR ONE LESS, WHICH WOULD BE GETTING RID OF BLIND BIDDING. BUT THAT'S (CHUCKLES) THAT'S MY OPINION. IT DOESN'T FAVOUR... LIKE, BIDDING WARS FAVOUR THE SELLERS, FOR SURE. AND IT FAVOURS THE SELLER'S REAL ESTATE AGENT. AND I GUESS IF THE BUYERS PAID MORE, IT FAVOURS THE BUYER'S REAL ESTATE AGENT TOO BECAUSE HIGHER PRICE, HIGHER COMMISSION. SO THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY LOVES IT AND ANYBODY WHO'S GETTING A RESIDUAL BENEFIT FROM THAT, I GUESS AS WAS MENTIONED EARLIER, THE GOVERNMENTS WITH THEIR LAND TRANSFER TAXES ARE GETTING MORE WHEN PRICES ARE HIGHER. SO THERE'S A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING LARGE ON THESE... ON ESCALATED PRICES OR HAVE AN INTEREST IN HIGHER PRICES.

Steve says NO, I GOT YOU. THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE FOR WHOM IT IS A TERRIFIC THING THAT HOUSES ARE GOING FOR SO MUCH. TIM, GIVEN YOU REPRESENT A PROVINCE-WIDE ORGANIZATION, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN ON THIS NEXT QUESTION. THERE'S ALWAYS A DANGER I GUESS IN POLICY-MAKING, AND YOU WOULD KNOW FROM YOUR TIME IN POLITICS, THAT YOU CAN OVERREACT TO A SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MAY BE EXISTING FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME BUT IT BECOMES A POLITICAL HEADACHE FOR WHOEVER IS IN POWER AND IT'S IRRESISTIBLE TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING. I WAS IN SUDBURY FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND. THERE ARE HOMES IN SUDBURY THAT ARE... THE BIDDING WARS IN SUDBURY ARE OUT OF CONTROL. THERE ARE HOMES GOING FOR ONE AND TWO AND THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TODAY MORE THAN THEY WOULD HAVE BEFORE COVID. SO THIS IS WHAT MY QUESTION IS. THERE'S ALL KINDS OF ACTIVITY BECAUSE OF COVID NOW. PEOPLE MOVING OUT OF BIG CITIES INTO LESS POPULATED PARTS OF THE PROVINCE. DO WE NEED TO DO ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR GIVEN THE TIMES IN WHICH WE ARE IN TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM IN LIGHT OF THAT REALITY?

Tim says SO YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. YOU NEED TO BE CAUTIOUS IN TERMS OF MARKET INTERVENTION WHEN IT COMES TO UNINTENDED CIRCUMSTANCES. WHAT I EXPECT TO SEE PEOPLE GO THROUGH COVID AND GET MORE COMFORTABLE WITH HAVING POTENTIAL BUYERS IN THEIR HOME. THEY SEE HIGHER PRICES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD AND HAVE CONVERSATIONS, HEY, IT'S TIME WE DOWNSIZED OR MOVE TO A SMALLER TOWN OR WORK FROM HOME, YOU SEE MORE IN THE MARKET. THERE'S AN EXAMPLE IN SUDBURY. THERE'S A MALL THEY WANT TO CONVERT INTO RESIDENTIAL SPACES. THERE WOULD BE MORE AFFORDABLE OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE. DO MORE OF THAT. THERE WOULD BE MORE OPTIONS ON THE COMMERCIAL SIDE. ACCELERATE THE APPROVALS PROCESS. IN BIG CITIES LIKE TORONTO, BUILDING ABOVE TRANSIT STATIONS, LOOKING AT LANEWAY HOMES. THERE ARE A LOT OF OPTIONS, STEVE, TO DO SO. WE'VE DONE A LOT OF CONSIDERING AT OREA.COM. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR MORE SPACE IN THEIR HOME, THEIR YARD, BECAUSE OF COVID. WE'RE SEEING THE MATHEMATICS OF REAL ESTATE MEANING PEOPLE DON'T HAVE AS MUCH DISCRETIONARY SPENDING NOW, WE'RE NOT GOING OUT. THEY CAN AFFORD MORE OF A DOWN PAYMENT. IT'S EXCITING TO SEE A SMALL TOWN COMEBACK. YOU'RE RIGHT. WE ALWAYS ASPIRE TO BE IN A HOME IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD WE GREW UP IN.

Steve says LISA, LET'S BRING IT BACK TO GREATER TORONTO, WHICH IS YOUR BAILIWICK. EVERY TIME I HEAR PEOPLE SAY WE NEED TO INCREASE SUPPLY, I KNOW THERE'S A SEGMENT OF THE POPULATION THAT SAYS, THAT'S CODE FOR WE WANT TO BUILD IN THE GREENBELT OR WE WANT TO BUILD IN SENSITIVE LANDS OR AQUIFERS OR WE WANT TO BUILD IN PLACES WHERE REALLY WE SHOULDN'T BE BUILDING. HOW DO YOU CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT WE NEED MORE SUPPLY BUT WE NEED MORE SUPPLY WHERE IT'S APPROPRIATE, NOT ON PROTECTED LANDS?

Lisa says YOU KNOW WHAT? THE OBVIOUS ANSWER TO THAT IS REALLY LOOKING AT THE MAP OF ONTARIO. WE ACTUALLY NEED... NOT ONLY THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY BUT THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF TO SHOW THAT THE LANDS ARE PROTECTED, TO SHOW THAT THE GREENBELT AREAS ARE PROTECTED AND TO SHOW SOME OF THE MISSING MIDDLE RESEARCH. TIM TOUCHDOWN ON THIS IN YOUR LAST QUESTION, TALKED ABOUT LANEWAYS, HOW YOU CAN REINVENT HOUSING, CREATE DIFFERENT KINDS OF HOUSING THAT WILL HELP YOU WITH THE DEMAND.

Steve says OKAY. I'M GOING TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT. I HEAR YOU. BUT THEN I ALSO HEAR MUNICIPAL COUNCILLORS WHO SAY, WAIT A SECOND. I'VE GOT CONSTITUENTS WHO DON'T WANT THE DENSITY OF THEIR NEIGHBOURHOODS TO INCREASE ONE AND TWO AND THREEFOLD. WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

Lisa says YOU KNOW WHAT? AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE ALSO KNOW THAT WE'RE ALWAYS GOING TO HEAR THOSE COMMENTS, RIGHT? AND REALISTICALLY, WE'VE GOT TO SHOW THE VISION OF ONTARIO. I MEAN, WE ALSO HAVE TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT, WE HAVE A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF IMMIGRATION TO COME INTO THIS COUNTRY. SO HOUSING PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE AND HOW THAT IS GOING TO BE ADDRESSED... EVERYBODY NEEDS TO COME TOGETHER IN CREATING POLICIES AND CHANGE THAT IS GOING TO SUSTAIN US.

Steve says SHANE, CAN I GET YOU TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT? HOW DO WE GET MORE SUPPLY OUT THERE WHEN CLEARLY THERE SEEMS TO BE AN INTEREST IN THE STATUS QUO FROM MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY IN AS OPPOSED TO THOSE WHO WANT TO GET IN.

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Shane says I WILL SAY THIS. WHEN I TALK TO HOUSING ADVOCATES, WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE WE DO HAVE A HOUSING SHORTAGE. IT IS ENORMOUS. IT IS IN EVERY CATEGORY. AFFORDABILITY. THE MISSING MIDDLE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT, THE REAL MISSING MIDDLE, NOT THE 12-STOREY PLACES BUT THE 6-STOREY PLACES. WE NEED TO GET RID OF EXCLUSIONARY... THOSE ARE IMPORTANT. BUT I ALSO THINK THAT WE OFTEN, PARTICULARLY AMONG REALTORS, THERE IS A RELUCTANCE TO TALK ABOUT OTHER MEASURES TO CONTROL PRICING, AND ONE OF THE WAYS TO DO THIS IS SPECULATION TAXES. NOW, IN 2017, THE MARKET WAS BEHAVING VERY MUCH LIKE IT IS NOW. WE BROUGHT IN A FOREIGN BUYERS' TAX AND IT WAS AIMED AT THE 5 percent OF HIGH END PROPERTIES THAT WERE SELLING FOR AN ENORMOUS PRICE. [inaudible] BUT I THINK WE CAN LOOK INTO THE PAST AS WELL AND FIND EXAMPLES OF SPECULATION TAXES. ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITES, STEVE, BILL DAVIS IN THE '70S BROUGHT IN A HOME SPECULATION INSTEAD OF A PROPERTY SPECULATION TAX. AND IT WAS A SLIDING SCALE, 50 percent OF THE GAINS WOULD BE TAXED IF IT WAS SOLD WITHIN A YEAR AND IT CARRIED ON AND GOT LOWER. IT DISCOURAGED PEOPLE FROM FLIPPING AND THAT WAS LIKE A PITCHER OF COLD WATER IN THE '70s AS THEY HAD PRICES GROWING SIMILAR TO WHAT WE HAVE NOW IN THE GTA WITH 30 percent YEAR-OVER-YEAR. PRICES IT WENT DOWN TO BELOW DOUBLE DIGITS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. NOW, IT WAS REALTORS FROM THAT TIME WILL TELL YOU IT WAS HORRIBLE. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE FOR THEM AND IT COMPLETELY UPENDED THE MARKET. BUYERS, WHICH WE'RE TALKING ABOUT MAINLY, THEY LOVED IT. WHAT'S FUNNY IS THAT TAX WAS REPEALED ONLY FOUR YEARS AFTER IT WAS INTRODUCED BECAUSE IT HAD DONE ITS JOB. THERE ARE OTHER MEASURES THAN SAYING WE NEED TO JAM MORE HOUSES INTO THESE NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT DON'T WANT THEM. THERE ARE PRICE MEASURES. ANOTHER ONE VANCOUVER HAS LOOKED AT IS EMPTY HOMES AND VACANCY TAXES. THERE'S ALSO SECONDARY HOMES. THE IDEA IF YOU HAVE... I TALK TO PEOPLE WHO ARE CONDO INVESTORS ALL THE TIME AND OTHER PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO OWN LIKE 20 CONDOS AND THAT'S JUST THEIR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO. THEY'RE COLLECTORS. THEY'RE NOT HOME OWNERS. WHY DO WE GIVE THEM A FAVOURED TAX STATUS. MAYBE, IF WE REALLY THINK THAT HOME OWNERSHIP AND BUYING IS IMPORTANT, WE SHOULD DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM HOARDING HOMES AND TAX THEM AS WHAT THEY ARE, INVESTMENTS.

Steve says TIM, LET ME CALL ON AGAIN YOUR POLITICAL BACKGROUND. WHAT DO YOU DO IN A SITUATION WHERE, YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE OR A CITY COUNCILLOR AND YOU'VE GOT A CONSTITUENT WHO SAYS I JUST SPENT 5 MILLION BUCKS ON A HOME AND YOU WANT TO BUILD A SIX PLEX NEXT TO ME? IN DEALING WITH THE HOUSE SHORTAGE, THAT'S GOOD PLANNING. IN TERMS OF SATISFYING THAT CONSTITUENT, YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN TROUBLE. HOW DO YOU RESOLVE THAT?

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Tim says THAT'S WHY IT'S BEEN SO HARD, PARTICULARLY IN LARGER CITIES, BECAUSE POLITICIANS, ESPECIALLY LOCAL COUNCILLORS, ARE GOING TO BE HARD WIRED TO THINK ABOUT THE VOTERS THAT ARE ALREADY THERETO, NOT THE ONES THAT ARE YET TO COME. IT WOULD HELP BRING HOME OWNERSHIP CLOSER TO REACH FOR MILLENNIALS, NEW CANADIANS, PEOPLE LOOKING TO DOWNSIZE. THAT'S WHY THE PROVINCE DOES NEED TOOLS, WHETHER THEY'RE THE CARROT OF INCENTIVIZING NEW... TO HELP OVERCOME THE NIMBYISM. YOU ALSO DO NEED TO HAVE THE WHIP AS WELL. IF THERE'S A DIFFICULT ARGUMENT THAT YOU'RE NOT WINNING BUT YOU HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT NEED HOMES, YOU DO NEED THINGS LIKE MINISTERIAL ZONING ORDERS TO GO FORWARD AND MAKE THOSE TOUGH CALLS. I TOTALLY GET IT. THE SAME PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT THAT CONDO NEARBY, THEY WANT THEIR DAUGHTER OR SON TO FIND A PLACE TO CALL HOME. THE PROVINCE NEEDS TO CONTINUE ON THE PATH THEY'RE ON BECAUSE WE'RE HAVING THE BIG BIGGEST GENERATION THAT IS FARTHER BEHIND IN GETTING A HOME.

Steve says HOW WOULD YOU ORGANIZE THAT CONUNDRUM. YOU HAVE SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO PROTECT THEIR INVESTMENT AND BOUGHT A VERY EXPENSIVE HOME FOR A VERY GOOD REASON AND SOMEBODY WANTS TO PUT IN A SIXPLEX NEXT DOOR?

Davelle says I LIVE THAT EVERY DAY BECAUSE I LIVE AT YONGE AND EGLINTON. IT'S HAD A TON OF CONDOS AND THERE'S A STRONG RATE PAYERS ASSOCIATION THERE AND PICKET THE CONDOS, THEY DON'T WANT TO HAVE THE LARGE CONDOS. AT YONGE AND EGLINTON, MY PROPERTY VALUES ARE NOT GOING DOWN BECAUSE OF THOSE CONDOS. IN FACT I WOULD SAY MY CONVENIENCES OF LIVING IN THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD ARE ACTUALLY GOING UP BECAUSE OF THOSE CONDOS. I NOW HAVE MORE STORES TO SHOP AT. I NO LONGER NEED TO GO DOWNTOWN. I CAN WALK OUT MY DOOR AND HAVE EVERY CONVENIENCE THAT I NEED. SO I THINK THAT THE RATEPAYERS' ARGUMENT IS VERY SHORT SIGHTED. AT SOME POINT THEY'RE GOING TO WANT TO LIVE IN CONDOS WHEN THEY DOWNSIZE, THEY'RE GOING TO WANT TO STAY IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD. TO STAY IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD, THEY'RE GOING TO NEED THAT CONDO. FOR THEIR KIDS TO STAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, THE KIDS WILL NEED THAT CONDO BUILDING. SOME OF THOSE RATEPAYERS AND COUNCILLORS ARE CREATING SUCH A PROBLEM FOR BUILDING MORE. ON TOP OF IT, THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH PEOPLE PUTTING MORE BASEMENT APARTMENTS IN THEIR HOUSE. AGAIN, THAT ACTUALLY MAKES PEOPLE'S HOUSES MORE AFFORDABLE TO THEM. WHICH SHOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE. BASEMENT APARTMENTS ARE HUGE IN VANCOUVER BECAUSE THE HOUSING PRICES THERE ARE HIGHER THAN THEY ARE IN TORONTO AND THAT'S HOW PEOPLE MAKE HOUSES MORE AFFORDABLE, THEY PUT BASEMENT APARTMENTS IN THEM. IN ORDER TO GET MORE HOUSING QUICKLY, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY CONDOS CERTAINLY TAKE A LONG TIME TO BUILD, IS THEY WOULD ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO TAKE A SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING AND TURN IT INTO THREE UNITS. YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW, IF THERE WAS ONE PERSON THAT WANTS TO TAKE ONE HOUSE AND TURN IT INTO THREE UNITS, THEY'RE TREATED AS THEY ARE THEY ARE A DEVELOPER AND THEY HAVE TO PAY A HUGE AMOUNT OF DEVELOPMENT CHARGES, WELL OVER 100,000 dollars, JUST TO TURN ONE HOUSE INTO A TRIPLEX. WHAT IF YOU NOW HAVE A SENIOR WHO IS LIVING IN THIS BIG HOUSE THAT REALIZES THEY DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN A CONDO, THEY WANT TO STAY IN THEIR HOUSE, BUT THEY DON'T NEED ALL THAT SPACE. THAT SENIOR COULD TAKE AND CUT UP THEIR HOUSE AND ALLOW MORE RENTERS IN, CREATE MORE HOUSING, AND STILL STAY IN THEIR HOME. AND I THINK THAT WE NEED TO GET A LITTLE BIT MORE CREATIVE ABOUT THOSE THINGS, TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO STAY IN THEIR HOME, BUT ALL THOSE THINGS WOULD HELP INCREASE THE SUPPLY AND ALSO INCREASE THE RENTAL MARKET. YOU KNOW, WE ALSO HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT BUILDING ANY AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND THEY'RE NOT BUILDING ANY RENTAL BUILDINGS. THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LOOKING AFTER THE MAJORITY... THE NUMBER OF INCREASED RENTALS HAVE BEEN DOMESTIC INVESTORS. AND, YES, THOSE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE BUYING CONDOS AND RENTING THEM OUT OR BUYING DUPLEXES AND TRIPLEXES AND RENTING THEM OUT, BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT GOING TO DO IT. SO, YES, PRIVATE INVESTORS, MYSELF INCLUDED, ARE DOING THOSE KINDS OF THINGS BECAUSE, QUITE FRANKLY, THAT'S HOW INVESTORS ARE PAYING FOR THEIR RETIREMENT. THEY DO NOT WANT TO PUT THEIR MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET. SO REAL ESTATE IS ENOUGH ASSET CLASS FOR THEM TO USE. THAT SHOULDN'T BE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM.

Steve says I HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING BUT, LISA, I THINK IT GETS BACK TO THE LOCAL POLITICIAN WHO HAS TO MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHO HE OR SHE IS GOING TO LISTEN TO. DOES THAT LOCAL POLITICIAN LISTEN TO THE ONE CONSTITUENT WHO IS ALREADY THERE, WHO IS IN THE MARKET AND HAS A BIG INVESTMENT THAT HE OR SHE WANTS TO PROTECT, OR ARE THEY MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SIX OR TEN POTENTIAL VOTERS THAT HAVEN'T MOVED IN YET THAT HE OR SHE DOESN'T KNOW... IF THOSE ARE THE TWO CHOICES, I'M NOT A POLITICIAN BUT I'VE KIND OF GOT TO FIGURE OUT WHICH WAY THEY'RE LEANING.

The caption changes to "Lisa Patel, @lisapatel01."

Lisa says YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU'VE BROUGHT UP A GREAT POINT, AND FINDING THE HAPPY MEDIUM IS REALLY THE CASE THERE, RIGHT? I MEAN, YOU'RE PRETTY MUCH DAMNED IF YOU DO ON ONE SIDE, YOU'RE DAMNED IF YOU DO ON THE OTHER SIDE. THE REALITY IS THERE'S GOING TO BE MORE THAN SIX TO TEN THAT ARE LOOKING TO MOVE IN, BUT ULTIMATELY IT'S FINDING THAT HAPPY BALANCE. THE REALITY IS, WE KNOW THAT THE SUPPLY CHAIN IS AN ISSUE. SO WE HAVE TO LOOK AT NEIGHBOURHOODS. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT REINTENSIFICATION. AND I THINK THAT EVERYBODY ON THIS PANEL HAS THOUGHT ABOUT THAT IN GOING TO THIS COMMENT ABOUT WHICH WAY DO WE FIND? THERE'S ALWAYS GOING TO BE AN ALTERNATIVE, AND AN ALTERNATIVE THAT'S GOING TO... LISTEN, IT'S NOT GOING TO MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY AT THE END OF THE DAY. BUT THERE IS GOING TO BE CHOICES AND WE ALSO HAVE TO THINK, NOT ONLY ON THE SCALE OF RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT 10 YEARS FROM NOW, 20 YEARS FROM NOW. BECAUSE AS HISTORY AS SHOWN US, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT THINGS RIGHT NOW IN THIS PERSPECTIVE IS NOT ENOUGH. WE HAVE TO THINK 50 YEARS FROM NOW. WHAT IS THIS GOING TO LOOK LIKE? AND THAT'S WHERE OUR DECISIONS HAVE TO COME FROM.

Steve says LET'S SAY NOT EVEN 50 YEARS FROM NOW, LET'S SAY 25 YEARS FROM NOW WHEN DEMOGRAPHERS ARE PREDICTING WE'RE GOING TO SEE TWICE THE POPULATION THAN WE HAVE TODAY. TWICE. THAT'S ASTONISHING. TIM, I PRESUME... WELL, I DON'T KNOW. LET ME ASK YOU. I WOULD ASSUME THAT THE BEST REAL ESTATE SYSTEM IS ONE WHERE THERE IS FAIR ROUGH JUSTICE BETWEEN SELLERS AND BUYERS. IT ISN'T ALL IN ON ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER. HOW FAR AWAY ARE WE FROM THAT RIGHT NOW?

Tim says WELL, WE'RE FACING A HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS. THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT AND I'VE TALKED ABOUT OPTIONS ON HOW WE CAN INCREASE HOUSING SUPPLY. GOVERNMENT LAND THAT'S UNDERUTILIZED IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF, WE CAN MOVE QUICKLY. I THINK IN NEW YORK CITY THEY BROUGHT IN 200,000 OR 300,000 AFFORDABLE PURCHASES BY USING GOVERNMENT LAND. I SUSPECT AS A RESULT OF WORK FROM HOME, STEVE, THERE'S GOING TO BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOVERNMENT TO DOWNSIZE ITS FOOTPRINT IN MAJOR URBAN AREAS LIKE TORONTO, THE HIGHEST PRICED REAL ESTATE IN OUR PROVINCE, TO PUT TOWARDS HOUSING. I WILL SAY THAT BEGINNING WITH THE WYNNE GOVERNMENT, CONTINUED BY THE FORD GOVERNMENT, THEY HAVE BROUGHT A REAL ESTATE STANDARDS TO BECOME NORTH AMERICAN LEADERS, A MORE EFFICIENT REGULATOR, BAD ACTORS, HIGHER FINES TO RESCIND LICENCES, SUSPEND THEM. WHERE THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD FOCUS. HIGH STANDARDS IN CONSUMER PROTECTION. MAKING SURE WE HAVE LEADING PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS. AND PUT THE ENERGY INTO GETTING MORE SUPPLY IN THE MARKETPLACE, PARTICULARLY FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS, AND MOVE-UP BUYERS. THAT'S CRITICAL.

Steve says SHANE, LET ME PUT THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. YOU'RE A GUY WITHOUT A DOG IN THE HUNT HERE. YOU'RE LOOKING AT THIS AS A NEUTRAL OBSERVER. HOW OUT OF WACK OR OUT OF BALANCE DO YOU THINK THE SYSTEM IS RIGHT NOW?

Shane says I THINK IT'S REALLY OUT OF WACK AND REALLY OUT OF BALANCE. I THINK ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT SOME OF THE RESEARCH THAT HAS SHOWN THAT TORONTO'S NEIGHBOURHOODS, THESE STABLE NEIGHBOURHOODS WE TALK ABOUT, ARE DEPOPULATING. YOU'RE HAVING NEIGHBOURHOODS GETTING OLDER AND FEWER CHILDREN AND DEPOPULATING. AT THE SAME TIME, YOU HAVE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE MOVING INTO THE CITY. SO WHERE ARE THEY GOING? WE'VE SEEN ON THE MAP WHERE THE CONCENTRATIONS OF POPULATION, CONCENTRATIONS OF EVERYTHING FROM COVID TO POVERTY, CLUSTERS IN THESE PARTS OF TORONTO. YOU HAVE THESE BIG NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT ARE UNDERUTILIZED LAND, IF YOU WILL. I THINK OFTENTIMES PEOPLE TALK ABOUT MZOs AS A TARGETED SORT OF A THING TO DO THIS PIECE OF LAND OR THAT PIECE OF LAND AND THEY GET IN TROUBLE WHEN THEY GO AFTER SENSITIVE WETLANDS, AS THEY SHOULD. MAYBE WE SHOULD LOOK AT IT MORE BROADLY. EVERY SINGLE FAMILY SORT OF RESTRICTED ZONING AREA IN THE PROVINCE NOW HAS TO ALLOW MORE PEOPLE, YOU WOULD GET BACK TO THE KIND OF CITY WE HAD IN THE '50s AND '60s AND '70s EVEN WHEN YOU HAD SOME OF THE BIGGEST POPULATION GROWTH AND SOME OF THE BIGGEST MIDDLE CLASSES YOU EVER HAD IN THIS PROVINCE. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT POLITICS AND EXISTING HOME OWNERS, IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIDDLE CLASS, AS MR. HUDAK WELL KNOWS, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO WIN ELECTIONS IN THIS PROVINCE. IF YOU PRICE THE MIDDLE CLASS OUT OF THE BIGGEST CITY IN THE PROVINCE, THE CAPITAL, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF SUCCESS WITH THAT DEMOGRAPHIC. SO IT IS IN THE POLITICAL INTERESTS OF POLITICAL ACTORS EVERYWHERE TO SERVE THOSE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET INTO HOUSING MARKETS, AND THAT DOESN'T MEAN JUST OWNERSHIP, IT MEANS AFFORDABLE RENTALS AND ALL THIS TALK ABOUT MISSING MIDDLE AND EXCLUSIONARY ZONING, IT'S NOT JUST FOR BUYERS, IT'S ABOUT FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LIVE AT A REASONABLE RENT IN THE CITY OF TORONTO. WE NEED THOSE PEOPLE HERE TO SERVE THIS GIGANTIC ECONOMIC ENGINE. YOU CHASE THEM OUT OF THE CITY WITH HIGH PRICES, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A BIGGER POLITICAL PROBLEM THAN WHO'S MAD ABOUT WHAT PARKETTE GOES WHERE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says I REMEMBER DAVID PETERSON TALKING ABOUT THE TORONTO REAL ESTATE MARKET AS A SWEET HEADACHE TO HAVE. SOME THINGS JUST APPARENTLY NEVER CHANGE BUT WE'LL KEEP AN EYE ON THIS ANYWAY. SHANE, LISA, TIM, SCOTT, DAVELLE, IT'S GREAT OF YOU TO JOIN US ON TVO TONIGHT. MANY THANKS.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Is It Time for a Real Estate Industry Shake-Up