Just finished reading a thought provoking book by Canadian economist Jeff Rubin called Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller. The book makes a number of predictions including $200/barrel oil, $2/litre gas in Canada($7/gallon in the U.S.), escalating food prices, and the return of some manufacturing jobs as shipping costs rise. The book is well-researched and written from a Canadian/North American perspective. Previously, my knowledge of oil depletion and the changes it would bring about were limited to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior starring a young Mel Gibson pictured above(a great movie if you haven't seen it).
The book got me thinking about the myriad of changes this could bring about in real estate. In particular, how would it affect housing choices? Would we see a return in popularity of smaller homes? If so, what do we do with the McMansions in far flung commuter suburbs? Will we see a further resurgence in Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo? What about the need for a home office(s) as telecommuting becomes more widely accepted? Will the need for self sufficient living increase demand for big backyards to grow food? If so, do we see an increased need for greenhouses and cold cellars? What about roads, sidewalks, snowplowing and policing if municipalities cut back services as taxpayers become strapped for cash? Do condominium fees become a hindrance as they did in the early '90's?
One thing that became clear as I read Rubin's book was the glaring need for Light Rail Transit(LRT) in Waterloo Region. Rubin says "As people start to park their cars for longer and longer periods, they will increasingly want to get on the LRT. And when they do, the legacy of North America's past transportation choices will come back to haunt the continent." There are currently a number of Public Consultations taking place in Waterloo Region regarding the LRT. I intend to visit one and I encourage you to attend one as well.
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying "The only things certain in life are death and taxes." I'm equally certain the issues that keep you up at night are different than your neighbours. Feel free to call or email. Whatever the future holds, I'll be happy to consult with you on your changing real estate needs - 519-505-4488 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. Brokerage \
"Delivering results since 1989"