Say goodbye to energy efficient homes Image

Say goodbye to energy efficient homes

By Sam Reiss on Jun 20, 2018

Our new premier this week vowed to make it his first official act to put the kibosh on GreenON, the renovation rebate program that incentivized homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient.

The move was roundly criticized by NDP MPP Gilles Bisson, who in statement said it was “beyond irresponsible to scrap clean air and climate-change initiatives with no plan to replace them”; Green Party leader Mike Schreiner’s statement said the move would make it harder for Ontarians to pay their household bills, as well as declaring “war on businesses creating jobs that are good for the environment and that help people save money by saving energy.”

Lately, I’ve noticed that political choice seems to be less about voting in leaders we respect or parties whose values most align with our own, and more about sticking it to the other side. It’s unfortunate, because these issues impact us all — the only things we differ on is the best way to tackle them.

The cap-and-trade system funded initiatives to fight climate change, and a lot of the money from the tax was earmarked for infrastructure, too. If these infrastructure plans are still in the works, who’s going to pay for them? Will there be cuts to services?

When issues matter, let your MPP know, whichever side you’re on. Offer your support or your criticism, and make sure your representatives don’t forget that they work for you. Do you think the provincial PCs making the right first moves?

What does the summer hold for the market?

GTA housing market

Here we are on the last day of spring, following a lackluster housing season, as prices fell year-over-year. Many cite adjustment to new legislation as the culprit, but we’ve known all along that what went up had to come down at some point. Mitigating how far down and how hard it all lands sparked the legislation in the first place, so we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s having an effect.

As we look forward to summer, economists, columnists, editors, bloggers and just about everyone with access to a keyboard and skin in the game offer up a few predictions. In his most recent release, BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic called the current state of the GTA market “soggy, but stabilizing,” noting that the more-than-20% drop in year-over-year sales in May were at least better than the more-than-30% drop we saw in April.

Over at TD, economist Rishi Sondhi notes that the impact of legislative changes tend to be quick but transitory, and predicts a gradual recovery in the second half of the year. At CIBC, senior economist Benjamin Tal says the softening of the national market isn’t over yet, and that what is done during this “breather” from market frenzy will be critical to what happens next.

In general, what “they’re” saying is that it’s expected, it’s needed, it won’t last forever, and let’s not go crazy trying to correct the corrections.

In the meantime, buying a home in the GTA now, particularly resale, is quite a different experience than a couple of years ago. Although it’s still competitive, don’t expect bidding wars and no-conditions offers. Wary buyers afraid they may pay too much are actually daring to low-ball again. If you’re on the hunt this summer, let us know what it’s like out there.

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