With the federal election right around the corner, REALTOR® associations across Canada came together to make recommendations for all levels of government in an effort to make home ownership more attainable for Canadians.
The Real Estate Boards in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary joined the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, and the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® to make these four recommendations:
Make the mortgage stress test more flexible based on changing economic trends and interest rates
Increase the $750 First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit to $2,500
Allow 30-year amortization on insured mortgages
Consider regional differences when implementing nationwide measures that impact homebuyers
We have to say we agree with all four recommendations, and it’s actually shocking that the fourth point even needs to be made. Canadian housing markets vary so much across the country. It hardly makes sense to take a “one size fits all” approach to balancing the housing market.
Combined, these REALTOR® associations add up to 92,000 REALTORS®, which is about 70% of all the REALTORS® in Canada. The Edmonton market is extremely different than Toronto’s
. Nova Scotia is completely different than Vancouver. But they all agree on one thing - it should be easier to buy a home in Canada.
“With increasing pent-up demand and accelerated price growth, recent policies focused on demand such as the mortgage stress test have made home ownership less attainable. Affordability pressures need to be addressed by restoring a 30-year allowable amortization period on mortgages,” says Michael Collins, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board
“We need concrete results in the Greater Toronto Area to address the lack of supply by reducing red tape for building, relaxing zoning to expand mid-density (e.g., townhomes) housing, facilitating more transit-oriented development, accelerating infrastructure improvements and lightening the taxation burden facing home buyers,” adds John DiMichele, Chief Executive Officer of TREB. “The Ontario government and the City of Toronto are working on solutions to bring more supply on-line, but specific milestones should be set.”
The federal election is on October 21. Hopefully the leading candidates take these REALTORS® seriously and run on a platform that prioritizes helping Canadians realize their dreams of home ownership.