Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has vowed to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals, and to reinstitute 30-year terms to help make monthly payments more manageable.
If elected, the Conservatives have promised to improve affordable housing supply, by making surplus federal real estate available for development. Scheer also pledged to clamp down on illicit ventures using Canadian real estate, most notably money laundering.
“Justin Trudeau has put the dream of home ownership further out of reach for so many, especially young Canadians,” Scheer said.
“As Prime Minister, I will fix his bad policies and work to get more homes on the market to lower the price of housing.”
The assurances were a sharp about-face from the policies of the last Conservative government, which dramatically reduced the maximum mortgage amortization for insured mortgages. At the time, this was intended to relieve Canadians of their growing debt burdens, Bloomberg reported.
The trend started with an adjustment from 40 to 35 years in 2008, another reduction to 30 years in 2011, and a further paring down to 25 years in 2012.
Karen Cox of the Ontario Real Estate Association welcomed the remarks as a step in the right direction.
Scheer’s pledges “will help make home ownership more affordable by reducing bureaucratic overreach in the mortgage market, rewarding careful savers, getting dirty money out of the housing market and increasing housing supply. These changes will help bring the dream of home ownership within reach for thousands of Canadians,” the OREA president said.
“With home ownership rates on the decline in Canada, it’s time for bold action to eliminate barriers faced by young families and millennials looking to buy their first home.”