The Toronto Real Estate Board recently announced that they are “encouraged” by the federal parties’ focus on housing issues, but there’s a bit more to the story than meets the eye.
TREB is particularly happy to hear that the Liberals plan to expand the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, increasing the maximum mortgage value from $480,000 to $789,000 in the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, and Victoria, British Columbia.
TREB doesn’t mention any other Liberal housing promises, but the party also plans to implement a vacancy tax for non-resident, non-Canadians, introduce free energy audits and interest-free loans for energy efficient retrofits, and provide a Net-Zero Homes Grant of up to $5,000 for newly built homes that meet the criteria.
The Board is also pleased to hear that the Conservatives plan to lean on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to revise the stress test, and implement 30-year amortization for insured mortgages. The Conservatives also plan to review money laundering issues and make surplus federal land available for housing development.
In TREB’s statement, they don’t mention any of the housing promises made by the NDP or the Green Party.
The NDP arguably have the most housing solutions to offer. They plan to bring back 30-year terms for insured mortgages, double the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500, support and research co-housing, increase ownership transparency to fight money laundering, introduce energy efficient retrofit loans, update the National Building Code to make every new building net-zero by 2030, and introduce a 15% foreign buyer’s tax for non-Canadians and non-residents.
At a glance, the NDP’s housing platform is like the Liberal’s and Conservative’s housing platforms combined.
The Green Party will likely get the least support from the real estate industry with its plans to eliminate the FTHBI and its strong focus on rejigging the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to make its priority supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, instead of its current focus of supporting Canadian lenders.
Of course, the Green Party also plans to change the National Building Code in the same sense as the NDP, as well as provide interest-free loans for energy efficient retrofits like solar and heat pumps.
Before you go to the polls in October, do your research and learn more about what each political party plans to do to improve housing in Canada. You can get a comprehensive look at each party’s housing platforms at REALideas.ca.