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

View Royal mayor victimized in CERB identity theft scam

David Screech shocked to find his CRA account was accessed, his banking information changed

Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Real estate board president Sandi-Jo Ayers talks about pent-up spring demand, low inventory

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Driver loses control, crashes into Saanich furniture store

Crash at Lazyboy Furniture store Wednesday afternoon

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Most Read