TORONTO, Ontario July 31, 2019 – Canadians, especially young families looking to buy their first homes, are struggling to enter the housing market, due to government-imposed barriers to home ownership.
Ontario real estate agents are calling for urgent action to reverse detrimental policy changes that deliberately and unnecessarily have made it harder for families to borrow responsibly, in order to purchase a home.
“With just under 100 days until the federal election in October, all four parties are missing a clear opportunity to offer a comprehensive plan, to turn the declining home ownership trend around, keeping the dream alive for tens of thousands of young families,” said Tim Hudak, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “It’s an urgent issue that needs to be addressed, and whichever party does so, stands a good chance of winning, especially in the vote rich GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and lower mainland of B.C,” he added.
In response to a letter, sent to the federal government’s Standing Committee on Finance, by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Ontario realtors are pressing their case to help keep the Canadian dream of home ownership alive:
1. Supporting choice, by restoring the option of a 30-year amortization period for people with insured mortgages;
2. Fixing the harsh one-size-fits all mortgage ‘stress test’ by moving to a more flexible and reasonable mortgage stress test than the current one; and
3. Eliminating the stress test for careful savers, who are renewing their mortgage with a different lender, allowing for greater choice in the marketplace.
“These restrictions, in particular, are unfairly disadvantaging home buyers, especially millennials, looking to enter the market for the first time or young families looking to move up,” noted Hudak.
“Ontario realtors are continuing to fight for families, who are having their dream of becoming home owners dashed, by bureaucratic overreach in the mortgage market, outdated red tape and expensive regulations restricting housing supply and choice across the country,” he explained.
New research from Navigator and OREA supports these proposals, with 6-in-10 Ontarians (60%) saying they support a 30-year amortization period for insured mortgages. Nearly 6-in-10 young Ontarians, aged 18-34 (58%), support the federal government lowering the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, with just over half (51%) of all Ontarians supporting the same.