Any adjustments to B-20 right now would be premature, and some more time is needed to fairly evaluate the influence of the policy regime, National Bank of Canada CEO Louis Vachon said earlier this week.
“The so-called B-20 rule has been put in place now [for] almost a year,” Vachon told BNN Bloomberg in an interview. “I think we need to give a little bit more time to go by to assess how it’s impacting different markets in different parts of the country.”
Implemented by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in 2012 and subject to numerous revisions, the latest of which took place at the beginning of last year, B-20 has been subjected to both praise and brickbats from consumers and market observers.
Politicians have built on the regulations’ noticeable knock-on effects upon housing prices, which have steadily increased on average over the past few quarters.
In particular, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer vowed recently to, among other things, ease the B-20 rules if elected.
Vachon argued that a more circumspect approach to the issue is required, especially because the effects of the stress test have not been uniform across all provinces.
“Canada is so big and there are big differences between what’s going on in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, or the western provinces. So, you really have to look at different markets,” Vachon added.
“I keep repeating that all the time, especially to foreign investors: There is no such thing as the Canadian real estate market.”