Realtor groups push for eased mortgage rules as federal campaign gets underway

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver wants to see balanced lending and regulation

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward)

Real estate associations representing nearly three-quarters of the realtors in Canada have called for federal parties to commit to ease mortgage rules as the election campaign gets underway.

Organizations representing realtors and brokers in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec and Nova Scotia say too much regulation makes ownership unaffordable.

With the federal election set for Oct. 21, the boards and associations have urged federal political parties to commit to revise the mortgage stress test and adapt it to regional differences and changing economic trends.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria residents saw their mortgage payments rise almost five per cent last year

The stress test, made more stringent in 2018 to cool an overheated housing market, requires would-be borrowers to show they could still make payments if faced with higher interest rates or less income.

The associations also want the $750 First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit replaced with a $2,500 non-refundable tax credit for first-time buyers and are seeking reintroduction of 30-year mortgage amortizations.

Industry groups have been calling for eased rules around home buying for some time, while the CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has urged the federal government to keep the rules in place to protect the economy from tragic consequences as debt levels soar.

CMHC head Evan Siddall urged in a letter to a federal committee in May that it look beyond the “plain self-interest” of groups advocating for eased rules and see the lowering of home prices as helpful for the long-term health of the economy.

READ MORE: Real estate board calls on Ottawa to revisit mortgage stress test

Ashley Smith, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, said in Thursday’s release that her association believes in responsible lending and regulation, but also wants to see a balance.

“The stress test is causing more harm to hopeful home buyers than it needs to. It’s hurting affordability and stifling people’s ability to meet their housing needs.”

John DiMichele, CEO of the Toronto board, also called for more measures to increase supply, including relaxed rules on mid-density buildings, less red tape, and help on transit-oriented development.

“We need concrete results in the Greater Toronto Area to address the lack of supply.”

Matt Honsberger, president of the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors says no two real estate markets are the same and the inflexible stress test as well as other housing policies ”are simply not solutions that will work across our diverse country.”

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Abbotsford mortgage broker named among top 50 in Canada

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Port McNeill’s Barb Drennan named forest technologist of the year

“Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals”

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Sports Talk with Tyson: Winning isn’t everything

“regardless of the outcome, I gave everything I had and I left it all on the mats.”

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Most Read