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As we are currently embroiled in election rhetoric, what comes to mind for many Ontarians is the choice they need to make on the next elected Government. We aren’t going to delve into politics and policies but just fence sit and offer some observations and comments from our corner of the world……. and part of that corner is to do with homes in Burlington. As the TV talking heads ramble on, the majority of Canadians lament the disconnectedness of our elected representatives and a cynical eye is cast on the whole electoral process. However, I would offer it’s not without some reason.

A case in point is seen in our neck of the woods, in the business of new homes in Burlington. We try to keep abreast of trends and client needs. The edicts of the government and the ensuing legislation calls for intensification of housing, which seems to make sense given the investment $ that infrastructure for roads and transit demands. On the lawns of many homes in the Burlington downtown core placards are sported decrying the “intensification” hi-rise trend that is seen in full flush.

So who is right? Possibly the question is more aptly answered in the details of the execution, as the old saying goes …. “God is in the details,” but also, “the Devil is in the details.” Here’s some food for thought, in a recent Anthony Alfonsin article published in Atlantic.com entitled “ An Architect defends the suburbs” Alfonsin, an Architect who has made a career of studying home trends in the USA offers the following observations (summarized below):

“I learned that the housing industry is not just a major economic force, but also more efficient, more responsive to public taste, and more effective in marketing its products than the architecture profession.”

“Housing is better built now than ever before, a result of market competition, stricter building codes, and better materials. Basic construction is more solid, but the housing industry also is constantly upgrading the technology and sustainability of its products.”

“The housing industry answers consumers’ needs. Through its trade organizations, research institutes, and publications, it conducts constant research between buyer and seller.”

In his piece Alfonsin continues into a fairly lengthy discussion of architectural motifs, vocabulary and traditions. All which are beyond the scope of this blog. However what readily springs to my mind at election time is that people vote with their feet, as the saying goes and what Alfonsin has underlined is the departure of the grass roots, feet-on – the -ground people from the ivory tower ideologue tall heads.

“ ….A home in Burlington, ranked 9th in Canadian cities in a 2017 Money Sense poll.….”

In an earlier blog we pointed out that the Government’s policies, intending to control rents have pushed developers out of the market with the effect of increasing rents. Similarly, whereas the Government’s goals are intensification of housing there is a housing affordability “crisis” in the GTA in “intensified areas” ironically, making the suburbs a viable choice driven by cost among other things. Many vote for a home in Burlington, ranked 9th in Canadian cities in a 2017 Money Sense poll, a better option than a overpriced downtown condo that doesn’t fit their family’s needs.

For the full Alfonsin article see below: