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

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

VIDEO: Giants winning streak ends at 11 after a 2-1 setback Saturday in Everett

Run of wins matched their longest ever regular season winning streak

Most Read