Tag Archives: General Motors Canada

Oshawa

What we can learn from the looming GM closure in Oshawa

Latest News


What we can learn from the looming GM closure in Oshawa

Oshawa

When Christian Huggett first heard the news that General Motors Canada was closing its Oshawa assembly plant, like many of us, he was disappointed.

After all, the loss of at least 2,500 jobs – not to mention untold positions in related suppliers – in a community of 170,000, is going to hurt. Hurt whom, and how badly, are the only questions.

“We thought it was a shame, given the long history of GM in Oshawa and the legacy it has created in shaping its past and providing jobs for many,” the vice-president, development, at Podium Developments, Toronto, told Condo Life.

Economic diversity

“We also understood that the employment sector in Oshawa has been shifting for some time, and Oshawa has healthily diversified to add technology, educational institutions, healthcare, administration and many professionals to its offerings of great jobs and companies in the market.”

ALSO READ: The February 2019 issue of Condo Life

While various governments and the plant’s union vow to try to find some way to save the operation, resurrection seems unlikely.

And it serves as a good reminder to us all – of how important it is for cities to develop diversified, modern economies. And how homebuyers should look beyond the headlines when researching their prospective new home location.

Opportunities remain

Podium, one of several developers building new homes in Oshawa, recently launched Ironwood Towns in the north end. The company remains confident in the city.

“We believe the North Oshawa residential market is not driven by the success or change in one industry,” says Huggett.

“This includes the significant GM news. It has not altered our plans. We continue to believe that the outlook is bright for home sales in North Oshawa, buoyed by its proximity and relationship to schools, the 407 network, the significant growth occurring and planned for North Oshawa, and that our site is unique in its physical and design characteristics to make it stand out.”

Buyers, too, then, can remain optimistic. There’s a lot more going on in Oshawa and other areas in Durham Region than just one industry and one company.

RELATED READING

New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

What the GM plant closure means for the economy and housing market in Oshawa

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


House web

Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

Latest News


Oshawa housing to move into buyers’ market thanks to GM closure

House web

In one fell swoop, General Motors Canada’s announcement on Nov. 25 that it plans to close all assembly operations in Oshawa, Ont. effectively has pushed housing there into a buyers’ market.

“The announced General Motors plant closure will certainly impact Oshawa, and the trickle-down effect will be felt across the province,” Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax Integra of Ontario-Atlantic Region, told Homes Publishing.

“However, it’s important to remember that GM isn’t the economic driver that it used to be in Durham Region. The area boasts a growing education sector and a new casino is slated to open in 2019, which will boost new condo development and housing demand. With the rise of remote work and no relief expected for Toronto house prices in 2019, Oshawa will continue to be a popular choice with first-time and move-up buyers who have been priced out of the 416.”

There you have it, prospective home buyers.

Opportunity knocks

While such a major employment hit is hardly an occasion to celebrate, these developments could mean opportunity for those looking to buy a home.

“The fact is that more than 2,500 GM workers will be left in the lurch come 2020, and the looming loss of income will likely prompt a softening of the market at a local level, as existing residents and prospective homebuyers digest the news and what it might mean for them,” says Alexander. “This coming closure, coupled with further interest rate increases in 2019, is likely to trigger a market shift from the current balanced territory, as homebuyers delay purchases, scale down lower-priced properties or move away in search of employment.”

Also read: What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa economy and housing

Also read: Focus on Whitby and Oshawa

Also read: 5 affordable neighbourhoods for detached homes in 416 and 905

Another real estate expert, Don R. Campbell, says the impact of the closure could take 18 to 24 months to play out fully in the region.

Diversified economy

Thankfully, there is more going for Oshawa and the Durham Region than just General Motors. Though it was once described as the “Automotive Capital of Canada,” in recent years the economy has diversified into education and health sciences. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Durham College and Trent University Durham and all have campuses in the city, among other economy-boosting facilities.

Indeed, in its latest Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada pegged Oshawa to be one of the strongest economies in the province for 2018. The Board forecast real GDP growth of 2.6 per cent this year, following 3.2 per cent in the last two years, citing strength in the non-residential construction, education, health care, finance and insurance sectors.

In addition, Statistics Canada figures show that Oshawa was one of the fastest growing cities in Ontario from 2011 to 2016, with 6.6 per cent population growth, second only to Guelph at 7.7 per cent. This, after growing 7.7 per cent from 2006 to 2011.

Importantly, for prospective home buyers, transportation improvements such as expanded GO Transit and the Hwy. 407 extension make it easier for people to live in Oshawa – at cheaper home prices – and commute to work in other areas such as Toronto. Another extension of the 407 eastward to neighbouring Clarington is due for 2020, further easing transportation options.

New home opportunities

Tomorrow, we’ll explore some of the opportunities to buy new homes in the Durham Region.

 

SHARE  

Featured Products