The industry has provided its recommendations to the government committee that is studying the Canadian real estate market and the issues facing it.
The Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association sent a letter to the Standing Committee of Finance, advocating for changes that would lessen the burden on Canadians wanting to purchase homes.
“It goes without saying that people have to live somewhere: if they are not able to purchase housing, they must rent. In doing so, they are no longer paying down a mortgage on their appreciating asset, but instead that of their landlord,” CMBA said in the letter, which was obtained by MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “However, most Federal Government policies, such as latest crop of federal mortgage rules, which are intended to promote economic stability by curbing consumer debt, only have only a singular, narrow focus on the economy.
“These policies fail to consider that housing affordability problems impact both lower and middle income households, renters, first time buyers, and even established home owners.”
Indeed, industry players have argued many of the recent mortgage rule changes have made it harder for first-time buyers to break into the market.
The association provided the government with nine recommendations, all aimed at helping Canadians more easily purchase a home.
- Exempting fixed-rate five year (or greater) mortgage borrowers from having to qualify at the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate
- Permitting 30 year amortizations for first-time buyers
- Allowing borrowers with a LTV of 80% or less to amortize up to 30 years
- Exempting insured mortgage with amounts of $499,000 or less from having to qualify at the BoC benchmark rate
- Modifying the benchmark rate to include the averages of all federally regulated lenders, not just the big banks
- Finding ways for government to remove excessive red tape relating to housing development
- Reducing high ratio insurance premiums so that they are revenue neutral
- Having the government focus more on the impact of unsecured debt
- Ensuring lenders of unsecured credit qualify borrowers on income and debt ratios and not just credit scores
To read the letter in its entirety, click here