Broker shares wish list for industry in 2014

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With a new year upon us, brokers have a wish list of things they’d like to see happen in the mortgage industry, although one leading player is hoping for as little change as possible. At least in one area.

“I’m good with the status quo, so no change would be good; any change would be to slow things down further,” James Laird of True North Mortgage told “We’re not going back to 35 year amortizations so … no regulatory activity in 2014 would be great.”

2013 was rife with threats of impending mortgage rule changes, with Julie Dickson of OSFI and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty both expressing a willingness to intervene if deemed necessary.

For his part, Laird also hopes lenders will continue to support brokers in what will hopefully be a strengthening market.

“We hope that those lenders who work through the broker channel (will continue to) give us competitive offers to fight the banks with,” Laird said, voicing an opinion shared by so many of his colleagues. “I’d like to see continued strong activity and transactions in the purchase market, in the resale market; you hope that condo prices stay flat or appreciate a little bit.”

The one area brokers may want to see strides made in is licensing requirements, in the hopes that the industry continues to attract, and retain, only the best candidates.

“I’d like to see much more stringent licensing requirements from education requirements to cost of keeping your licence; we need to tighten up the industry and cut the bottom, (the) brokers who aren’t professional,” Laird said. “If you look at the sheer numbers and the ease of (getting licensed), it’s the reason our reputation is not as strong as that of accountants or lawyers.

“If we work to improve that through greater barriers to entry through education costs and training and all that, then the way we’re perceived in the consumer’s eyes will improve.”

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