OREA Fall 2021 MPP Meetings

In October The Lakelands’ Political Action Committee (PAC), with the support of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), met with MPP Jill Dunlop (Simcoe North), MPP Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey), MPP Norm Miller (Parry Sound – Muskoka), and MPP Bill Walker (Bruce Grey Owen Sound) to discuss important topics around home affordability and what the government can do to support families who want to own a home.

Homeownership in Ontario has been, for generations, a cornerstone of our shared prosperity and supports families and stronger communities. In addition, housing and real estate sectors support tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity. That said, the number of homes on the market has declined, prices have increased, and family incomes are not keeping pace.

When the market is balanced (good for buyers and sellers) we have between 6 and 4 months of inventory. A buyer’s market has 6+ months of inventory and 4 or less is considered a seller’s market. In Ontario, we have just under 1 month’s worth of homes on the market, and this declining trend was happening well before the pandemic hit – which is the lowest it has been in over 30 years and has resulted in home prices increasing. The Political Action Committee requested MPP support to lower costs for first-time homebuyers by increasing the first-time home buyers’ rebate from $4,000 to $8,000.

Furthermore, family incomes are not keeping pace with rising home prices. Today in the GTA, as an example, a family is dedicating nearly 70% of their after-tax income to housing-related costs – over double what experts say, families should spend. So even if they can find a home, the cost of carrying that property is stretching family budgets very thin. 46% of home buyers under 45 are looking outside of Ontario because it’s so expensive to live in our Province. The Political Action Committee requested MPP support to build more homes for families with the introduction of the “Bring Affordability Home Act, 2021” which will make it easier to build homes for families.

Our REALTOR® members go beyond buying and selling homes; they advocate to provide affordable housing in our communities and support families who want to own a home.

Our Local REALTOR® Advocacy Efforts

In March, our Government Relations Committee members had the opportunity to meet with our local Members of Parliament (MPs). Our main purpose was so show how REALTORS® are active members of their communities, as well as trusted experts on all things real estate.

We met with Terry Dowdall, the MP for Simcoe-Grey, to discuss issues surrounding the housing market in todays’ Canadian Economy and how this impacts our region. We also met with Bruce Stanton, MP for Simcoe North, where we discussed first-time home buyers and how the mortgage stress test affects our Local REALTORS® and their customers.

Establishing relationships with MPs enables REALTORS® to provide input on policy and legislation that benefits homeowners and prospective home buyers, as well as the entire housing continuum.

Our presence is integral to CREA’s advocacy efforts and reminding MPs that housing in Canada isn’t just an abstract idea: it has a tangible role in the communities they represent. The knowledge REALTORS® can share with MPs will also help them better represent their constituents.

Source: https://news2me.crea.ca/2020/january-2020/realtors-in-the-riding-pac-at-home-2020

OC and ORTIS to Merge: Over 13,000 REALTORS® Spanning 22 Ontario Associations to be Served by Same Shared MLS® System

Ontario – (January 16, 2019) – The Governors of the Ontario Collective™ (OC), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 12 real estate associations representing over 5,000 REALTORS®, and the Directors of the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS), a regional group providing MLS® System services to 10 real estate associations of over 8,500 REALTORS®, are pleased to announce they have signed a Transition Agreement to blend their two separate systems into one common shared regional MLS® System.

“We are beyond excited to announce the blending of two of Ontario’s largest regional MLS® Systems,” said Steve Dickie, Chair of the OC. “For going on decades now, progressive REALTORS® and Associations have been working to break down the artificial walls that have separated them. This initiative will significantly enhance the opportunities and services for our REALTOR® members as well as their clients.”

Both groups are using CoreLogic®’s leading edge Matrix system to power their MLS® Services. CoreLogic® is a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider and Matrix is used by more than 700,000 REALTORS® across North America, and 32,000 in Canada alone.

“From the beginning, this has been a member-centric process where we have put the needs of the REALTOR® first and foremost,” says Brad Johnstone, ORTIS Chair. “REALTORS® and their clients all have the same wants, needs and expectations, regardless of the size and location of the association they belong to.” In addition, Johnstone highlights, “The systems our two groups developed independently of one another are powered by the same stable, secure, proven and reliable technology, and both were developed by REALTORS® for REALTORS®.”

Combining the two systems into a seamless one will result in a “best-of-breed” solution by taking the lessons both groups learned in their individual regional projects and bringing them together in this initiative. Central to this project from the beginning is the recognition that members are equal. No matter what part of the province a REALTOR® practices in they have the same need for high standards and dependable technology.

The two groups are now developing a new single corporate entity to manage the services to all 22 associations.

“We’re going to take the best of both systems, combine them together to make something even better,” notes Kati Strickland, Project Manager of the OC. “We’re working with CoreLogic® now to align the needed resources and flesh out our project plan with the objective of having members online with it in the fall of 2019.”

Media Contacts:

Kati Strickland, OC Project Manager, kstrickland@thelakelands.ca

Bill Duce, ORTIS Project Coordinator, bill.duce@kwar.ca

About the Ontario Collective™ (OC). The OC is comprised of Bancroft and Area Association of REALTORS®, Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association Inc., London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®, North Bay Real Estate Board, Northumberland Hills Association of REALTORS®, Peterborough and The Kawarthas Association of REALTORS®, Quinte & District Association of REALTORS® Inc., REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®, The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®, Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board and Woodstock-Ingersoll and District Real Estate Board.

About the Ontario Regional Technology & Information Systems Inc. (ORTIS). ORTIS is comprised of Barrie and District Association of REALTORS®, Brantford Regional Real Estate Association, Cambridge Association of REALTORS® Inc., Guelph and District Association of REALTORS®, Huron Perth Association of REALTORS®, Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, Mississauga Real Estate Board, Niagara Association of REALTORS®, The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board, and Simcoe and District Real Estate Board.

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® 2018 AGM

August 22, 2018

Huntsville, ON – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® welcomed 159 real estate professionals to Deerhurst Resort earlier this month for their Annual General Meeting to network, share the latest industry news and announce the 2018 board.

The morning was packed with valuable information about marketing and social media, market trends and government relations, with a focus on advances in technology and equipping Realtors with the latest in lock box options to better protect themselves and their clients.

“We’ve always been progressive,” says Mike Stahls, the board’s Past President. “We just need to keep that pace up and stay on top of the new technologies.”

Wendy Webb is the 2018 president of the board. Webb brings ample experience to the role. She served as President of the board in 2010 and worked for two years at the national level, where she garnered valuable insights into best practices and how different boards operate.

Webb and Stahls agree that engagement and collaboration with the association is the key to success within the association and for its members. “When you’re connected with the association, rather than just working as a Realtor doing your everyday business, you’re able to stay ahead of the curve. You know what’s coming down the pipe and are having a say in how issues should be dealt with,” says Webb. “If you can’t be on the board, it’s great to join a committee,” says Stahls. “You get to meet a lot of people, you gain knowledge from watching how others work.”

Back Row: L-R Mike Stahls, Chuck Murney, Mike Taylor, D’Arcy Hunt Front Row: Lindsay Elder, President Wendy Webb, Executive Director Crystal Henderson, Debbie Gilbert and Catharine Inniss.

 

The 2018 Lakelands Association of REALTORS® board members are: Wendy Webb, (President), Mike Stahls (Past President), Catharine Inniss (President Elect), Lindsay Elder, D’Arcy Hunt, Mike Taylor, Debbie Gilbert and Chuck Murney.
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CONTACTS:
Crystal Henderson, Executive Director
chenderson@thelakelands.ca
(705) 788-1544 ext. 222 Kelly Warr, Operations Manager
kelly@thelakelands.ca
(705) 788-1544 ext. 229
Facebook: @TheLakelandsAssociation
Twitter: @TheLakelands

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® gives back to local communities

December 20, 2018

Huntsville, ON – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® continued their annual tradition of supporting local charities, donating a total of $18,000 to regional not-for-profit organizations. The initiative is part of the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF). Incorporated to the Ontario Real Estate Association in 1977, the foundation has been doing its part to support shelter and shelter-related organizations.

Since mid-December, representatives from the Lakelands Association travelled on behalf of the foundation to present cheques to the following organizations:

• The Burk’s Falls District Food Bank ($3000).

• The Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland & Haliburton ($3000) and Cottage Dreams ($1500). Cottage Dreams supports families touched by cancer, providing an opportunity for them to reconnect and rejuvenate at a private, donated cottage.

• The Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka ($1500), a child-friendly centre in which multidisciplinary professionals provide services to children and youth who have experienced abuse.

• Couchiching Jubilee House ($1500), an organization committed to empowering women to improve their quality of life through a program of individualized support and transitional housing.

• West Muskoka Food Bank ($1500)

• Esprit Place Family Resource Centre ($3000) is a ten-bed emergency shelter for women and children, serving the District of Parry Sound since 1986. They provide safe and secure residential accommodation twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

• Baysville Winter Pantry ($1500) provides food support services during the winter months for people who live in the Baysville and Dorset areas.

• Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group ($1500) operates two, 24-hour anti-violence crisis shelters for abused women and their children. Muskoka Interval House is located in Bracebridge, Ontario and Chrysalis in Huntsville, Ontario. Chrysalis also offers supportive transitional housing units for vulnerable women.

“We feel deeply entrenched in the communities we represent,” says Wendy Webb, President of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “We see giving back to those in need as a vital component of who we are as an organization as it highlights the meaningful local support of our REALTOR® members.”

The Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) is supported by monthly donations by local REALTORS® to benefit community shelter-based organizations. The Lakelands Association has contributed $18,000 annually through The Foundation accumulating roughly to date $160,000 in grant funding across Parry Sound, Muskoka, Haliburton & Orillia. Shelter is defined as a refuge, haven or protection that provides or improves quality of life from hunger, the elements, physical/psychological abuse, disabilities and illness.

 

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CONTACTS:
Crystal Henderson, Executive Director
chenderson@thelakelands.ca
(705) 788-1544 ext. 222

Kelly Warr, Operations Manager
kelly@thelakelands.ca
(705) 788-1544 ext. 229
Facebook: @TheLakelandsAssociation
Twitter: @TheLakelands

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OREA Releases Recommendations to Protect Consumers Against the Risks Involved in Purchasing a Former Grow-op

Muskoka, ON, April 9, 2018 – Growing marijuana in a home can pose significant health and safety issues for unsuspecting home buyers. With the legalization of marijuana looming, there are no rules in place to protect a home buyer from purchasing a former grow operation. In its Action Plan for Cannabis Legalization released today, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging the Provincial Government to bring forward measures that will ensure home buyers are protected from the health and safety risks associated with former grow ops.

“The legalization of recreational marijuana in Ontario is going to have significant impacts on homes, as many people will choose to grow their own plants,” said Mike Stahls, President of The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “Growing cannabis indoors often involves creating conditions that can lead to the formation of mold and fungus, which can have serious health risks for seniors and young children. Therefore, the long-term impact of legal marijuana cultivation on Ontario’s housing stock must be taken into consideration by policy makers.”

In its Action Plan, OREA proposes five policy changes to protect consumers from the risks involved in purchasing a former grow operation, including:

  1. Designate illegal grow operations as unsafe under the Building Code Act.
  2. Mandate that illegal cannabis operations are inspected by a municipal building official
  3. Require municipalities to register remediation work orders on the title of a former grow operation.
  4. Mandate that all licensed home inspectors receive training on how to spot the signs of a former marijuana grow operation.
  5. Restrict the number of plants that a home owner can grow from four to one in units 1,000 square feet or smaller.

Legalization of marijuana in other jurisdictions, like Denver, Colorado, has led to a significant increase in cultivation inside private dwellings. Moreover, the RCMP does not believe that legalization will eliminate the involvement of organized crime in the cultivation and sale of illegal cannabis.

“Property owners often go to great lengths to hide the evidence of a former grow operation, making it difficult for Realtors®, home inspectors and unsuspecting home buyers to detect,” said Mike Stahls. “It is unlikely Ontario will introduce a law banning the cultivation of cannabis in homes if federal legislation permits it. However, the Provincial Government has the authority to enforce measures to ensure consumers are protected in the largest investment of their lives, and we urge them to exercise that authority.”

More information is available at, www.ProtectOntarioHomes.ca.

 

ABOUT OREA

The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 38 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services.

 

ABOUT THE LAKELANDS

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® is a professional organization committed to serving its 800+ REALTOR® members with the tools, advocacy and professional development opportunities required to promote excellence, knowledge and a high standard of ethics and business practices.

Our members provide real estate services representing different land use properties ranging from recreational, residential and commercial throughout the major geographical areas within the regions of the District of Parry Sound, District Municipality of Muskoka, Haliburton County and Northern Simcoe County including the City of Orillia.

REALTORS® are champions of homeownership and are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods

 

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A foundation made up of 70,000 REALTORS® is being led by a Muskokan

~ 2018 Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Board of Directors~

News source: My Muskoka Now

By Taylor Ablett

Back row from left to right: Lisa Patel, Regan Lee, Tom Wilkinson, Bradley Mayer-Harman, Barb Whitney & Vince Mirabelli (not shown)

Front row from left to right: Shelly Gracey, Crystal Henderson, President, Debbie Vernon, President -Elect, Wendy Giroux & Harjit Singh Khalsa).

A Muskoka realtor is leading the charge for an Ontario-wide foundation that supports shelter-based charities. Debbie Vernon, who has been a realtor for 18 years and works in Bracebridge, was voted in as the President of the Ontario Realtors Cares Foundation during the Ontario Real Estate Association’s annual conference at the beginning of March.

Vernon says the foundation, which just celebrated its 40 anniversary, was established to support shelters across Ontario. She says the majority of the funding comes from realtors across the province.

Vernon says they also hold some fundraisers throughout the year, like a motorcycle ride which raised $26,00 last year.

She says the fund is around $4 million, and last year around $1 million was given to various charities, including around $17,000 in cottage country. She says the Lakelands Association of Realtors decides where the money goes in Muskoka.

Shelter-based charities can apply for this year’s fund on the Lakelands website. Vernon says that also includes breakfast clubs at schools.

For further details about the Grant Application https://thelakelands.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FDN-Grant-application-2017.pdf

Like us on Facebook @TheLakelandsAssociation

Mike Stahls elected as Provincial Director of OREA

NEWS RELEASE
ONTARIO REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION

TORONTO – The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has announced that Orillia-based real estate broker, Mike Stahls, has been elected as Provincial Director of OREA. The announcement follows the association’s annual conference on Feb. 27-Mar. 1 in Toronto.

In this capacity, Stahls will serve a two-year term as Provincial Director for the Northeastern Ontario Area on the 2018 OREA Board of Directors.

The Northeastern Area consists of the Bancroft, Barrie, Kawartha Lakes, Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands, Northumberland Hills, Parry Sound, Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Quinte and Southern Georgian Bay real estate boards.

“Real estate is changing. OREA is committed to protecting the dream of home ownership for future generations and making sure our members are equipped for the modern real estate marketplace,” Mr. Stahls.

Active in the real estate profession for 14 years, Mr. Stahls is a Broker for Royal Lepage Real Quest Realty Brokerage in Orillia. Mr. Stahls is a member of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS President from 2013 and 2017 and Director from 2014-2016.

He served as President-Elect and Director of the Orillia & District Real Estate Board from 2010 to 2012. He has also served as a member and chair of the Lakelands Executive committee and OREA’s Marketing/Communications and Government Relations committee.

The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 38 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy and other services.

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Muskoka David Reid named president of the Ontario Real Estate Association

News Source: My Muskoka Now

By Taylor Ablett

A Muskoka real estate agent is the new voice for 70,000 brokers across Ontario. David Reid was named as the new President of the Ontario Real Estate Association during OREA’s annual conference this week. In the role, Reid will represent the OREA members on the Board of Directors and the senior level Executive Committee.

He says serving as President is also an opportunity to advocate the government and support the value of realtors to the public when buying or selling a home. He says OREA aims to protect the dream of home-ownership for future generations and make sure potential homeowners are ready for the modern real estate market.

Reid has been in the real estate industry since 2003, and is a former President of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. He has also served on various other committees. Reid says Lakelands, OREA and the Canadian Real Estate Association all work together in the industry.

When it comes to the Muskoka market, Reid says 2017 was a good year for sellers, with a lot of multiple-offer situations.

Reid says some of the OREA members will be in Huntsville this summer for a directors meeting. More about the organization and its political advocacy are on the OREA website.

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The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® donates $10,000 in support of two local builds

Ontario – The Lakeland Association of REALTORS® recently made a large contribution to Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, one that will impact the lives of families in both Orillia and South Almaguin.

On Thursday, January 8, 2018 the local membership driven, professional real estate association contributed $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity OGN, funds that will go toward two local housing projects.

“Partnering with Habitat for Humanity gives local families a chance of home ownership not afforded to them otherwise,” said The Lakelands Association of Realtors president, Mike Stahls. “Our membership takes an active role in the betterment of our communities throughout the region.”

As the official kick-off to the South Almaguin Adopt-a-Home project, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North broke ground in Emsdale last spring. The build site is located at Station Road, and Habitat will be announcing their partnership with a local family in the coming weeks. The Lakelands generous contribution will go toward the Station Road build in addition to supporting another Habitat build currently underway in Orillia. The Orillia housing project, located at 499 Bay St., consists of a semi-detached home that, upon completion, will house two local families.

“We thank the community leaders of The Lakelands Association of Realtors for their generous contribution to helping build strength, stability and self-reliance for our partner families,” said Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North’s Director of Development & Communications Britta Gerwin. “These funds will help support several families throughout the communities we serve.”

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® is a professional organization committed to serving its 800 REALTOR® members with the tools, advocacy and professional development opportunities required to promote excellence, knowledge and a high standard of ethics and business practices. Its members provide real estate services representing different land use properties ranging from recreational, residential and commercial throughout the major geographical areas within the regions of the District of Parry Sound, District Municipality of Muskoka, Haliburton County and Northern Simcoe County including the City of Orillia. REALTORS® are champions of homeownership and are committed to improving Quality of Life by supporting policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.

Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is a not-for-profit organization that brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.

Find out more about the organization by visiting www.habitatgatewaynorth.com.

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