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General Motors’ Oshawa plant closure may soften Durham real estate market

Click to play video: 'How the Oshawa GM plant closure may impact Durham’s real-estate market' How the Oshawa GM plant closure may impact Durham’s real-estate market
General Motors plans to shut down operations at its Oshawa plant by the end of 2019, but this news may affect the housing market even sooner. Jasmine Pazzano explains – Dec 13, 2018

General Motors’ recent announcement that it will shut down operations at its Oshawa, Ont., plant may cause homebuyers and sellers in the region to put the brakes on their plans, says a Durham-based real estate agent.

Vanessa Jeffery says many people may hit the pause button on big purchases, such as a new home, because they are waiting to see what happens in Durham region following the closure of an institution that, directly and indirectly, employs thousands of people within the community.

This slowdown will in turn create less competition in the market, and house prices may dip up to three per cent, especially within the Oshawa, Ont., area.

According to statistics from the Durham Region Association of Realtors, the average price of a home in Oshawa right now is $501,840, but Jeffery is predicting that within the next few months, this could drop to $486,785.

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READ MORE: Durham General Motors dealerships fear Oshawa plant closure

“If folks are…not putting their house up on the market, then you typically see that people will follow that pattern,” she said.

Shivani Maharaj, one of Jeffery’s clients, put her Whitby, Ont., townhouse up for sale in mid-November but says she believes the news about the closure affected potential buyers’ interest in her home.

“We were really excited about the amount of traffic that we were getting through the house, and after the announcement, it tapered off quite significantly,” said Maharaj.

WATCH: Andrea Horwath meets with General Motors employees at Oshawa plant set to close

GM’s plans to close the plant mean more than 2,500 people working at the plant may lose their jobs, and Maharaj was worried this would make her house more difficult to sell.

“We [were] scared that there [weren’t] going to be enough buyers and… contenders for our home,” she said.
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Maharaj, however, sold her home this week for market value, and she says she plans to move to north Oshawa with her husband and eight-month-old daughter, Anahla.

Tina Sorichetti, president of the Durham Region Association of Realtors, says that despite the GM announcement, the market will stay level, as many Toronto families are moving into Durham Region.

“The money that’s coming from the west and being brought into [Durham Region]… I think will support all of those inadequacies,” Sorichetti said.

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