LONDON, ONT. -- A booming housing market doesn’t necessarily mean good times for everyone in the game.

That’s what realtors are finding out as the pandemic has contributed to historically low levels in housing inventory.

“We don’t particularly like this market,” said Jack Lane, who presides over the London St. Thomas Real Estate Association. “It’s tough for our buyers. It’s tough for realtors.”

Lane says in his 45 years in the industry he has never seen such low inventory. It becomes an exercise in frustration for the buyer, and highly competitive for the realtor.

“The typical realtor is working a lot harder, a lot longer hours, and even though we’re record sales, we also have a record number of realtors.”

Jack Lane

Jack Lane, president of the London St. Thomas Real Estate Association on March 23, 2021. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV London)

He says there are currently 2,000 members in the local real estate association - the highest membership ever.

Meg Hetherington of Keller Williams oversees a small army of realtors from London to Windsor. She says the pandemic has caused a mass exodus from the GTA.

Meg Hetherington of Keller Williams

Meg Hetherington of Keller Williams in London Ont. on March 23, 2021. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV London)

Many buyers from the Big Smoke who are looking for more space end up competing with local buyers.

“Often times they are putting in five, ten, 15 offers before they’re actually getting a home. And the real estate agents that are working with those buyers are right alongside them. They are exhausted for their buyers and for the market that they’re playing in when they’re working with so many buyers.”

Realtors do expect the market to stabilize and that supply will edge closer to demand as pandemic restrictions are lifted throughout the year.