Brokers speculate about potential mortgage changes

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Brokers are already speculating about what, if any, measures will be taken to slow the housing market, following Joe Oliver’s statement that he is keeping a close eye on real estate in Canada. But one oft-mentioned ploy should be avoided, according to one industry player.

“I am completely opposed to the privatization of CMHC. There was a crucial 6 month period at the height of the financial crisis when the feds through CMHC were pulling many levers that were critical to Canada's successful navigation of the WFT,” Ron Butler of Butler Mortgage wrote on MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Why would we give that up? It's a profitable organization that delivers dollars to the federal government every year and it's a fantastic policy making tool.”

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Joe Oliver said the government may take steps to rein in an overvalued housing market. However, he did not mention which measures would be taken.

“In terms of household debt and the real-estate market, this is a subject, of course, we’re monitoring very carefully,” Oliver said, according to the Canadian Press. “So, we’re not going to take any dramatic steps in that regard, but we may take some moderate steps.”

Oliver, who took over for the late Jim Flaherty in March of this year, has said from the outset that monitoring the housing market will be a priority.

"Our government has taken action in the past to reduce consumer indebtedness and the government's exposure to the housing market," Oliver told CTV News on in late March. "I will continue to monitor the market closely."
  • James Shinners on 2014-12-19 1:18:22 PM

    I think Canadian Mortgage Brokers should start speculating about a change to the federal government.

  • Debbie on 2014-12-19 1:35:38 PM

    It's pretty obvious that the elephant in the room is credit card debt. It's the cash cow nobody wants to address. Banks on one hand are reining in mortgage debt, and on the other hand giving out credit cards with limits that are ridiculous. 20 yrs of record low mortgage interest rates and the banks still report record breaking profits quarter after quarter. They killed the refinance market, and that is why we now see record high credit card debt...because they can't roll it into the mortgage anymore. The mortgage and housing market is correcting slowly, and as the curtain draws on refinancing, the light shines brightly on credit card debts. If there is a crash coming, its because of that, not the over heated housing market. Crashes don't occur in one sector alone, its a combination of events. Funny how disaster for big corporations (falling oil prices, low interest rates) spells a welcome relief to consumers who are the spenders that make the huge profits for the corporations. Ah the tangled web we weave..

  • Gary on 2014-12-19 6:05:39 PM

    James--you are so right...and to expand on that a bit further...what happened to democracy and the freedom to make money in the housing market? Slowly but surely our democratic rights and freedoms are being taken away by the various Provincial and Federal Governments. Flaherty had no business sticking his nose into places that he shouldn't have, and look at what has happened. Debbie's comment is bang on...If they want to put restrictions on CMHC then so be it, but don't take away the private sector's rights to make money--heck they certainly don't do anything to reduce the obscene profits the banks make.

  • Mortgage Delivery Guy on 2014-12-22 12:39:16 PM

    Interesting! Interested in seeing the final decision and most of it all the eventual outcome of it. Hope fully good one.

  • Craig on 2014-12-29 3:12:44 PM

    Debbie, well said. Regulation needs to be imposed on the amount of credit card debt that can be undertaken by an individual and a household. Credit cards should not be pushed by telemarketers who harrass Canadians because they make a commission on the # of cards issued. Interest rates need to be reined in as well; when savings interest rates are so low, predatory lending should not be allowed. Banks should be legislated to offer consolidation loans, and once overall debt ratios are reached, no more charge card offers to households should be allowed.

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