In this case, at least, no news is great news.
The 2017 budget, released a touch late due to some unique filibustering by the opposition, contained no new measures to cool Canada’s housing market.
“I’m happy to say that they didn’t do anything to slow housing and they actually said that they thought the actions that had been announced in October would already mitigate the excess activity in housing,” Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The other piece of good news is they didn’t do a thing to capital gains taxes.”
Various members of the real estate industry were hard at work prior to the budget advocating against further mortgage rule tweaks. Many meetings between industry players – including brokers, networks, and associations – and government officials took place and it appears those voices were heard.
So what housing-related issues were broached in the budget?
“The only aspect of housing that was discussed in the budget was affordable housing; meaning social housing,” Cooper said. “And it was money that had already been allocated in the 2016 budget.”
Indeed, the federal government has promised $11.2 billion to affordable housing providers to spend on new and existing units over the next 10 years.
That figure falls short of the $12.6 billion requested by mayors across the country.
The budget also gives $39.9 million over five years for Statistics Canada to create a national database of every property in Canada. This will include up-to-date information on sales, the degree of foreign ownership and homeowner demographics and finances to answer lingering questions about the skyrocketing cost of housing that may squeeze middle-class buyers out of the market.
With files from Canadian Press