Broker to CAAMP: Give up the mortgage-rule ghost

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At least one broker is suggesting CAAMP – meeting with officials in Ottawa next week – needs to reconsider its position on tighter mortgage rules and embrace the long-term benefits of the revamp.

CAAMP really needs to re-evaluate their mission in Ottawa,” Paolo Di Petta, a broker with EQRON Mortgages in Toronto said. “I don’t think they’ll be doing the broker industry justice if they push for a turnaround of the current lending policies.”

This week, CAAMP president Jim Murphy announced that he, the association’s chair and its chief economist would be holding meetings with bureaucrats and politicians in Ottawa Monday to discuss the recent mortgage rule changes and the corresponding hit to housing and mortgage industry.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty indicating that he is “happy” with how the rule changes have tempered demand for housing, lowered prices and averted a bust.

Mortgage brokers have largely taken a dissenting view, many are, in fact, pointing to CAAMP’s most recent mortgage market report as proof of their position.

CAAMP intends to bring that document to Ottawa, highlighting the effects the new rules have had on the first-time buyer market as well as the continuing diligence of Canadians, actively paying down mortgage well ahead of their 25- or 30-year amortizations.

Di Petta views it another way.

“I don’t buy that argument,” he said, referencing the first-time buyer falloff. “Those home buyers were shut out of the market due to skyrocketing home value brought about by low interest rates and previously lax mortgage rules.”

Rather than calling for policies that will provide only short-term growth for the mortgage industry, CAAMP and brokers should be more proactive in educating consumers on how to avoid accumulating “irresponsible” debts, Di Petta said, adding that the fourth recent revamp of the country’s mortgage rules was warranted to cool down an overheated housing market.

“We had to rip the Band-Aid off,” he added. “It was something that had to be done whether or not it hurts.”



  • Mortgage Agent on 2012-12-07 8:54:44 AM

    Paolo Di Petta needs to study hard and find out the actual reason. Low interest rate was part of the problem, the actual problem was/is the supply and demand. More immigrants, low inventory => Higher prices. Interest rate wasn’t this low late 90’ and beginning 2000’s. The home prices keep climbing since then.

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2012-12-07 1:55:15 PM

    I admit that wasn't the only reason, but it certainly was a big one.

    Rates started falling in the late 90's and, if you check the TREB stats, you'll see that sales (that were already on an upswing,) accelerated.

    Not to mention, if easy access to cheap borrowed money wasn't a major driver, then the rule changes wouldn't have had this effect.

    Supply and demand IS important, but the fact is if people don't have the money (or access to credit) they simply can't afford it. Housing prices were getting out of control, and this measure will bring them more in line.

  • Paul Therien - CENTUM on 2012-12-08 6:10:45 AM

    I appreciate that CAAMP is making the effort, but I think we need to consider that there are other much stronger lobby groups that support the regulation changes. I can’t see the government doing a flip flop on this, but I do think that CAAMP is doing their job by having the discussion and they should be commended for making the effort.

    Instead of raging against the machine, perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is this: “How can we, as mortgage professionals, reposition ourselves to take advantage of the greater difficulties the consumer will experience due to the tightened mortgage regulations?”

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2012-12-08 6:32:48 AM

    Also, "Mortgage Agent" (why be anonymous),

    You may want to read this article: - Even the BoC that rates are too low, at unsustainable levels, and that they have artificially inflated the economy and housing market because of the easy access to money. As I said many times already - cheap, easy access to credit is a big stimulus that many people will take advantage of. That's why our debt-to-income ratio is at 163% (the highest ever, I might add.)

    Clearly there's a problem, and the Mortgage Rule change was the best option to slow debt growth without pushing people out of their homes. If you have a better one, I'd like to hear it...

  • Vans LeBlanc, MA, BBA on 2012-12-09 3:24:56 AM

    Are ordinary Canadians really to blame for this so-called Excessive Debt Situation??

    Bank of Canada warns own low rate policy poses risk to economy
    Gordon Isfeld | Dec 6, 2012 11:00 AM ET |
    My view:
    First, it's refreshing to see an article trying to lay the blame squarely where it may belong. So many of us are timid about speaking out.
    Perhaps the Bank Governor contributed to the so-called excessive consumer debt syndrome by his accommodating monetary policy. But without exonerating him completely, monetary policy by itself cannot take exclusive credit/blame for the state of the economy. The Government's fiscal policy could be equally liable for the apparent excessive borrowing by the public.
    Perhaps Canadians have no choice but to borrow to supplement their regular income.
    Perhaps the tax burden is too high for ordinary Canadians.
    Perhaps the comfort zone in the economy is only on Bay Street and not on Main Street.
    Before we continue to blame Canadians for the apparent irresponsible credit splurge, let us examine how Canadians are using their credit cards, their credit lines, or even their 2nd mortgages.
    Is it on food, clothing, rent, transportation, education, utilities, all of which are necessities of living; or is it on non-essential items such as luxury goods, vacations, second homes, vacation homes, the second car, expensive jewelry, designer jackets and shoes??
    When we have decided exactly how Canadians (and which Canadians) are spending this excessive credit, then we can determine whether or not it is because the ordinary Canadians' incomes need to be supplemented with debt.
    That would be very instructive.

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