Broker sends warning to Ottawa

Broker sends warning to Ottawa

Broker sends warning to Ottawa Rumblings of further mortgage tightening are already frustrating brokers, who argue they will unfairly affect the wrong type of buyer.

“We’ve already seen the impact of the most recent changes and young professionals are really struggling to get into the market,” Dianne Smith of Invis told “The housing and mortgage business is really dependent on first-time buyers and they would be the most affected.”

According to the Financial Post, the federal government is looking at ways to cool the housing market and is considering an increase to the minimum down payment requirement.

“They are definitely looking into this but it doesn’t mean that they will do it,” an anonymous source told the Post.

Another source confirmed the government is considering it, while a Department of Finance source denied that Ottawa is considering raising the minimum down payment from five per cent.

But would the move make sense? The economy needs the stimulation that a rate cut provides, with the government, say analysts, unwilling to stimulate the economy with the more-usual infrastructure spending favoured by past regimes.

The talk of further restrictions will certainly ramp up in the wake of the Bank of Canada lowering the target for its overnight rate to ½ per cent and buyers take advantage of record-low rates.

Still, brokers argue any move to hike minimum down payments will not rein in the ever-increasing housing prices because they will affect first-time buyers; buyers who aren’t known to purchase the million dollar homes that are driving up the average housing price in Canada.

“I can’t see (the government increasing the minimum down payment) as fair; there has got to be a better way,” Smith said. “I just don’t think it’s fair to punish the market segment that is so critical to the housing industry.”

  • Ray Azar 2015-07-17 9:47:28 AM
    The recent increased demand is fueled by foreign investors and new immigrants and they are not the 5% buyers. This will only decrease the average Canadian family's possibility to own a home. While we are at it why don't we sell the whole country to foreign investors. I think the federal government should impose a ownership limit on foreign investors to resolve the situation.
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  • David Neville 2015-07-17 10:00:50 AM
    The Feds seem to only be able to see 2 markets...Toronto and Vancouver. Don't forget that policies made for those 2 markets affect everyone. If they are concerned, enforce restrictions specific to them alone. Better yet, let a free market economy rule. We have gotten through tough times before in this country without government intervention. We can do it again.
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  • Jerry Quigley 2015-07-17 10:01:45 AM
    There's also discussion of reducing the maximum amortization to 20 years. That would be the most effective but on homes priced more that 10% above the median home price for that particular real estate board market.
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