Ontario Real Estate Association appeals to Ottawa for less stringent mortgage rules

The Ontario Real Estate Association’s (OREA) chief executive officer, Tim Hudak, in a letter sent today to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, is calling for less stringent mortgage rules – taking aim at comments made by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) president & CEO, Evan Siddall, who has been a critic of those lobbying for eased rules.

According to a release by OREA, “Canadians, especially young families looking to buy their first homes, are struggling to enter the market due to government-imposed barriers to home ownership. Ontario Realtors are calling for urgent action to reverse detrimental policy changes that deliberately and unnecessarily have made it harder for families to borrow responsibly in order to purchase a home.”

“With just under 100 days until the federal election in October, all four parties are missing a clear opportunity to offer a comprehensive plan to turn the declining home ownership trend around, keeping the dream alive for tens of thousands of young families,” said Hudak. “It’s an urgent issue that needs to be addressed – and whichever party does so, stands a good chance of winning, especially in the vote rich GTA and lower mainland of B.C.”

Hudack’s letter is in response to a May letter Siddall sent to the committee, urging it to ”look past the plain self-interest” of the parties lobbying for eased rules to protect the economy from ”potentially tragic consequences.”

According to OREA, “Ontario Realtors are pressing their case to help keep the Canadian dream of home ownership alive”:

  1. Supporting choice by restoring the option of a 30-year amortization period for people with insured mortgages,
  2. Fixing the harsh one-size-fits all mortgage ‘stress test’ by moving to a more flexible and reasonable mortgage stress test than the current one, and
  3. Eliminating the stress test for careful savers renewing their mortgage with a different lender, allowing for greater choice in the marketplace“These restrictions in particular are unfairly disadvantaging home buyers, especially millennials looking to enter the market for the first time or young families looking to move up,” said Hudak. “Ontario Realtors are continuing to fight for families who are having their dream of becoming home owners dashed by bureaucratic overreach in the mortgage market, outdated red tape and expensive regulations restricting housing supply and choice across the country.”

New research from Navigator and OREA supports these proposals, with 6-in-10 Ontarians (60%) saying they support a 30-year amortization period for insured mortgages, OREA’s release added. Nearly 6-in-10 young Ontarians aged 18-34 (58%) support the federal government lowering the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, with just over half (51%) of all Ontarians supporting the same.

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