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Odidison aims to usher in new, diverse generation of real estate leaders – Winnipeg Free Press



When Donnette Odidison got her start in the Winnipeg real estate business 13 years ago, she had one major achievement in mind: owning a brokerage.

“It was a lifetime goal of mine, to be my own boss, and one day have my own business,” she said.

A high aspiration, but not one she thought impossible. So she got to work, first for an independent brokerage, then for a few franchises, and finally in 2018, got a call for an interview with Re/Max Professionals for a management position.

She told the brokerage’s owner Stan Newman of her goal of one day owning a brokerage, too. He was impressed, and the idea of handing over the reins to a businessperson with similar convictions to his own appealed to him.

“Let’s rediscuss in two years,” Odidison, 42, recalled saying.

In 2020, the two years were up, and this November, Odidison officially purchased from Newman the brokerage he co-founded in 1984, when it became the first Re/Max franchise in the city. The terms of the transaction are confidential, they say.

“I’ve had two or three other offers on the franchise in the past which I turned down,” said Newman, 73, who’s worked in real estate since 1974 and will stay on as a consulting broker at the firm. “But Donnette, I trust her, and that’s a key element. She’s honest, direct and straightforward. I think we’re much alike in that way.”


Stan Newman said he turned down other offers before agreeing to sell to Odidison. ‘I trust her, and that’s a key element.’



Stan Newman said he turned down other offers before agreeing to sell to Odidison. ‘I trust her, and that’s a key element.’

Odidison said now that she’s accomplished her biggest goal — ownership — there are dozens more to check off her list for the future of the brokerage: expanding the already large (65) team of its agents, engaging a younger demographic of buyers by thinking differently about real estate, and maintaining the brokerage’s culture built up over nearly 40 years in the city, for a few.

That culture got its start when, in 1983 and working for Re/Max in Calgary, Newman and Eileen Lewis decided they’d wanted to start a franchise of their own. But there was nothing in Cowtown that appealed, so the company suggested two locations for a potential new franchise: Regina or Winnipeg.

Having both worked and lived in the city for several years, a return to Winnipeg was an easy choice. In January 1984, Re/Max Real Estate Inc., started in the city, soon followed by several other franchises, which were eventually sold off by Newman.

However, Re/Max Professionals, which operates out of a large complex on Buffalo Place, was the one franchise Newman held onto. But Odidison came around at just the right time, and after 36 years, Newman finally sold this year.

She turned out to be the right candidate, Newman said, and she’s excited to take over such a longstanding business. Odidison says she’s also proud to help usher in a new generation of real estate industry leaders, and, as a Black woman, to show peers that racial or gender-based barriers can’t prevent achieving one’s goals.

“The abilities are there, if you don’t let anything stand in your way,” she said. “I’m very proud I’m able to do this. I feel blessed, like everything lined up, and I have a very supportive team of people behind me.”

Odidison has taken on her new role at an interesting moment in the real estate industry: in Manitoba, over 15,000 homes were sold in one year for the first time ever, and in Winnipeg, several months of record-setting sales figures have occurred amidst the pandemic. The market is right now very much a seller’s one, but as the winter ends, there’s a sense the currently low listing stock will rise as the spring market gets going.

But Odidison says she and the staff are ready to take on whatever challenges the industry may face in 2021 and beyond.

“So far,” she said. “So good.”

Ben Waldman

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Real eState

What Is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)



The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Canadian Crown Corporation that serves as the national housing agency of Canada and provides mortgage loans to prospective buyers, particularly those in need.

Understanding the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) serves as the national housing agency of Canada. CMHC is a state-owned enterprise, or a Crown corporation, that provides a range of services for home buyers, the government, and the housing industry.

CMHC’s stated mission is to “promote housing affordability and choice; to facilitate access to, and competition and efficiency in the provision of, housing finance; to protect the availability of adequate funding for housing, and generally to contribute to the well-being of the housing sector.”1

A primary focus of CMHC is to provide federal funding for Canadian housing programs, particularly to buyers with demonstrated needs. CMHC, headquartered in Ottawa, provides many additional services to renters and home buyers, including mortgage insurance and financial assistance programs. CMHC acts as an information hub for consumers, providing information on renting, financial planning, home buying, and mortgage management.

CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance for public and private housing organizations and facilitates affordable, accessible, and adaptable housing in Canada.2 Additionally, CMHC provides financial assistance and housing programs to First Nations and Indigenous communities in Canada.3

Professionals and Consumers

CMHC provides services to both professionals and consumers. For professionals, CMHC aims to work in collaboration with different groups to provide affordable housing. Services include project funding and mortgage financing, providing information to understand Canada’s housing market, innovation and leadership networks to access funding and talent to spur housing innovation and increase supply, and providing speakers and hosting events for the industry.4

For consumers, CMHC seeks to provide all the tools an individual would need to either buy a home or rent a home and a variety of information and assistance for current homeowners, such as managing a mortgage, services for seniors to age in place, and financial hardship assistance.56

For financial hardship and mortgage assistance, CMHC provides tools that include payment deferrals, extending the repayment period, adding missed payments to the mortgage balance, moving from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage, and other special payment arrangements.7

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the National Housing Strategy

In November 2017, the Canadian government announced the National Housing Strategy.8 Rooted in the idea that housing is a human right, this 10-year, $70 billion project will largely be administered by CMHC, although some services and deliverables will be provided by third-party contractors and other Canadian federal agencies.9

Strategic initiatives of the National Housing Strategy include:

  • Building new affordable housing and renewing existing affordable housing stock
  • Providing technical assistance, tools, and resources to build capacity in the community housing sector and funds to support local organizations
  • Supporting research, capacity-building, excellence, and innovation in housing research10

History of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

CMHC was established in 1946 as the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation by the federal government in Canada with the primary mission of administering the National Housing Act and the Home Improvement Loans Guarantee Act and facilitating discounts to mortgage companies. Initially, CMHC began by providing housing to returning Canadian war veterans, and toward the end of the 1940s, CMHC began to administer a program providing low-income housing across Canada.11

In 1947, CMHC was responsible for opening Regent Park, a large low-income housing project, and Toronto’s first urban renewal project. By the 1960s, CMHC introduced co-op housing and multi-unit apartment buildings throughout Canada.11

In 1979, the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation changed its name to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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Real eState

Canadian home price gains accelerate again in May



Canadian home prices accelerated again in May from the previous month, posting the largest monthly rise in the history of the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, data showed on Thursday.

The index, which tracks repeat sales of single-family homes in 11 major Canadian markets, rose 2.8% on the month in May, led by strong month-over-month gains in the Ottawa-Gatineau capital region, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in Hamilton, Ontario.

“It was a third consecutive month in which all 11 markets of the composite index were up from the month before,” said Daren King, an economist at National Bank of Canada, in a note.

On an annual basis, the Teranet index was up 13.7% from a year earlier, the 10th consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since July 2017.

Halifax led the year-over-year gains, up 29.9%, followed by Hamilton at 25.5% and Ottawa-Gatineau at 22.8%.

Housing price gains in smaller cities outside Toronto and its immediate suburbs again outpaced the major urban centers, with Barrie, Ontario leading the pack, up 31.4%.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose 4.9% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 4.3% in Halifax and 3.7% in Hamilton.

The Teranet index measures price gains based on the change between the two most recent sales of properties that have been sold at least twice.

Canada‘s average home selling price, meanwhile, fell 1.1% in May from April, Canadian Real Estate Association data showed on Tuesday, but jumped 38.4% from May 2020.


(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Bank of Canada seeing signs of cooling in hot housing market



The Bank of Canada is starting to see signs that the country’s red hot housing market is cooling down, although a return to a normality will take time, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Wednesday.

The sector surged in late 2020 and early 2021, with home prices escalating sharply amid investor activity and fear of missing out. The national average selling price fell 1.1% in May from April but was still up 38.4% from May 2020.

“You are starting to see some early signs of some slowing in the housing market. We are expecting supply to improve and demand to slow down, so we are expecting the housing market to come into better balance,” Macklem said.

“But we do think it is going to take some time and it is something that we are watching closely,” he told the Canadian Senate’s banking committee.

Macklem reiterated that the central bank saw evidence people were buying houses with a view to selling them for a profit and said recent price jumps were not sustainable.

“Interest rates are unusually low, which means eventually there’s more scope for them to go up,” he said.

Last year, the central bank slashed its key interest rate to a record-low 0.25% and Macklem reiterated it would stay there at least until economic slack had been fully absorbed, which should be some time in the second half of 2022.

“The economic recovery is making good progress … (but) a complete recovery will still take some time. The third wave of the virus has been a setback,” he said.

The bank has seen some choppiness in growth in the second quarter of 2021 following a sharp economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the year, he added.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Cooney and Richard Pullin)

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