OREA’s newly appointed president outlines year-long mandate

by Neil Sharma on 12 Mar 2021

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has appointed real estate broker David Oikle as its new president, and he laid out his year-long mandate in a chat with CREW.

Chief among the association’s priorities under his tutelage this year is lobbying the provincial government to help succour development of new supply to meet voracious demand, which has vastly outstripped available housing supply, especially in Ontario’s dense centres like Toronto and Ottawa.

“In Ottawa, my market, we have less than a month of inventory at any given point in time,” said Oikle. “We don’t have enough listings to look after demand.”

Amid a chorus of warnings about a housing bubble, Oikle says that, from his vantage point, simple fundamentals are driving the housing market and talk of bubbles might be premature.

“The fundamentals suggest demand will keep going, and supply is limited,” he said. “If something changes in the future, we can have another conversation, but, at this point, I think the market is incredibly strong and that it will stay this way.”

Among OREA’s recent accomplishments is the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, which is a modernized piece of legislation governing the standards to which realtors are held. An important facet of the act is that it permits realtors to form personal corporations with the intent of augmenting their businesses.

In addition to OREA’s efforts to raise the code of ethics that govern the association’s 80,000 members, it’s seeking to implement so-called diversity principles.

“Last year, we started a presidential advisory group on racism, equity and inclusion. This year we’ll be in a position to recommend policy changes as a board. I’m really excited about that and enthusiastic about making a difference in our communities, and that group will do very good work. I’m enthusiastic about supporting that.”

The association recently lobbied the provincial government to elevate rural communities by investing in crucial infrastructure development that could help trigger job creation and reverse social decline. Many rural communities in Ontario still don’t have broadband Internet connectivity or natural gas, and with white-hot home purchasing activity spilling out of Toronto into the exurbs, and even as far as cottage country, such infrastructure has become imperative.

“Last month, we released a policy paper with recommendations called Small Town big Opportunities,” said Oikle,” which advocates expanding broadband, natural gas and housing development to main streets and commercial properties in residential communities. Additionally, we continue bringing forward recommendations about how to increase supply, unlock land, and cut red tape for faster development, so we’re not sitting back waiting for things to happen. We want things to happen that can positively impact our markets.”

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