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Resale Housing Market Still Healthy, Experts Say at Toronto Real Estate Board Meeting

TORONTO, October 28, 2008 -- More than 1,100 Greater Toronto REALTORS® gathered to hear Canada’s top experts talk about the future of the housing market at the Toronto Real Estate Board’s 88th Annual General Meeting October 27th.

The following panelists covered a range of topics on the future of real estate:

Don Lawby, President and Chief Operating Officer
Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

Gary Hockey, President
Coldwell Banker Canada

Kimberly Fleming, Regional Director, Canada
Prudential Real Estate Affiliates

Howard Drukarsh, Vice-President
Right at Home Realty Inc.

Phil Soper, President and Chief Executive Officer
Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

Stephen Wong, Chairman
Living Realty Inc.

Michael Polzler, Regional Director and Executive Vice President
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada

Andrew Cimerman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder
HomeLife Realty Services

Much of their discussion was focused on current market conditions, with panelists attributing a recent dip in the GTA resale housing market to waning consumer confidence.

“People are mislead by the media,” said Living Realty’s Stephen Wong. “We don’t have a problem; it’s being self-inflicted.”

Panelists also agreed that while a return to robust conditions may not be seen until 2010, the market continues to be balanced and supported by the economic fundamentals of strong employment and immigration, and historically low interest rates.

In addition, Royal LePage’s Phil Soper noted that unlike other major cities, the GTA has not experienced artificially inflated house prices.

“We’re going through a time of general economic malaise but it is not going to be prolonged and in the housing market we’re not going to see a reset because it wasn’t off in the first place,” he said.

TREB President Maureen O’Neill’s speech focused on raising the bar with respect to professionalism, an idea that was echoed by Michael Polzler of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic.

“This is a time for professional REALTORS® who know the business and all aspects of it, to lead people through complicated transactions,” he said.

Panelists concluded their discussion by pledging to support organized real estate’s lobbying efforts against unrealistic regulatory expectations and unfair taxes, like the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.

“This event’s incredible turnout demonstrates REALTORS’® genuine desire to continuously improve in order to provide the highest level of service to their clients,” said Ms. O’Neill. “We’re also delighted to have received the full support of Canada’s largest real estate companies as we continue our efforts to advocate on behalf of GTA property owners.”

Greater Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Serving over 28,000 Members in the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada’s largest real estate board. Greater Toronto Area open house listings are now available on www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com.

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