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Homeownership – 2021 Federal Elections

homeownership

Homeownership is a hot item for many Canadians and Federal Ministers. It important that Canadians understand what ideas parties are willing to implement in making housing affordable and understanding the root cause of these record inflation rates..

It is election time – voting takes place on September 20 2021 – Do not forget to vote. The Canadian government has provided Canadians multiple platforms in making sure all Canadians have an opportunity to voice their opinion – take the time and read more about the Federal Election.

There are a number of items that concern Canadians locally and internationally and these policies will determine how Canada moves forward in the upcoming years.

One thing that is currently impacting Canadians locally is the Housing market.  Despite the challenges millions of Canadians still rank homeownership as a top life goal. However, challenges persist and it is important to understand platforms of the 3 main Federals parties and what they plan on doing to tackle this problem.

Liberals:

  • Investing $1 billion in loans and grants to create and scale up rent-to-own initiatives with private, non-profit, and cooperative partners, providing renters with a route to house ownership in five years or less.
  • Introduce a tax-free First House Savings Account that will allow Canadians under the age of 40 to save up to $40,000 for their first home and withdraw it tax-free to go toward their purchase.
  • Allow Canadians to choose between a deferred mortgage loan and the existing shared equity arrangement, lowering their monthly mortgage payments.
  • The First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit will be doubled, from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Reduce the mortgage insurance premiums imposed by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation by 25%.
  • In the next four years, 1.4 million houses will be built, preserved, or repaired.
  • Make a $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund accessible to push the country’s major communities to expedite their housing plans, with a goal of 100,000 additional middle-class houses by 2024-25.
  • Increase financing to the National Housing Co-Investment Fund for a total of $2.7 billion over four years on a permanent basis.
  • Introduce the Multigenerational House Renovation Tax Credit to help families who want to build a second unit to their home to accommodate a family member.
  • Create a National Indigenous Housing Centre and co-develop a housing plan with Indigenous partners.
  • End chronic homelessness by assisting communities in developing and implementing locally based homelessness prevention and reduction initiatives.
  • Introduce a Home Buyers Bill of Rights that prohibits blind bidding, establishes a legal right to a home inspection, ensures complete price transparency on recent house sale prices, requires real estate agents to disclose all participation in transactions when they are involved in both sides of a potential sale, and ensures banks offer mortgage deferrals for up to six months in the event of a major disaster.
  • Stop ‘renovictions’ by prohibiting unjust rent increases that are not part of a routine rent payment.
  • Put in place an anti-flipping fee on residential properties that requires them to be kept for at least a year.
  • New foreign ownership is prohibited.
  • Examine the tax treatment of big corporate owners and speculators attempting to acquire huge portfolios of Canadian rental property, as well as strategies to limit excessive gains.
  • To investigate and battle all types of serious financial crime, including money laundering in the housing sector, the Canadian Financial Crimes Agency should be established.

Conservatives:

  • To boost supply, the Conservative Party plans to build one million homes over the next three years by implementing measures such as: building public transit infrastructure that connects homes and jobs by bringing public transit to where people are buying homes; and requiring municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit…
  • Examine the federal government’s real estate portfolio – the country’s largest property owner with over 37,000 structures – and release at least 15% for housing while enhancing the Federal Lands Initiative.
  • Encourage the development of a new market for seven- to ten-year mortgages to offer stability for both first-time home purchasers and lenders, providing another safe path to homeownership for Canadians while also lowering the need for mortgage stress testing.
  • Remove the necessity for a stress test when a homeowner renews their mortgage with a different lender, rather than just when they stay with their existing lender, as it is currently the case.
  • Increase the mortgage insurance eligibility level and link it to house price inflation, giving consumers in high-priced real estate areas with less than a 20% down payment a chance to purchase a home.
  • There is no capital gains tax on the sale of a person’s primary house in Canada.
  • Implement a strategy to address veteran homelessness, and look into the possibility of repurposing surplus military housing to house homeless veterans.
  • For a two-year period, foreign investors who are not currently residing in or planning to relocate to Canada are prohibited from purchasing real estate (after which it will be reviewed).
  • Encourage foreign investment in purpose-built, low-cost rental homes for Canadians.
  • Implement comprehensive amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, and provide FINTRAC, law enforcement, and prosecutors with the tools they need to detect, stop, and punish money laundering in Canadian real estate markets.
  • For residential property, create a nationwide Beneficial Ownership Registry.
  • Adopt a housing plan that is “For Indigenous, By Indigenous,” giving Indigenous Peoples the authority to address their own housing requirements.

New Democratic Party:

  • In the next ten years, build at least 500,000 units of high-quality, affordable housing, with half completed in the first five years.
  • Waive the federal part of the GST/HST on new rental units to encourage the building of more affordable housing.
  • Reintroduce 30-year terms on CMHC-insured mortgages for first-time purchasers on entry-level houses, which will result in lower monthly payments.
  • To assist with closing expenses, double the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500.
  • The selling of a residence to someone who isn’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident is subject to a 20% foreign buyer’s tax.
  • More social housing should be built. Purchase, lease, and convert hotels and motels as quickly as possible for emergency housing relief until permanent, community-based alternatives become available.
  • Working with Indigenous communities to execute a co-developed, fully financed Indigenous national Housing Strategy within the first 100 days in office will address the Indigenous housing crisis and put an end to chronic overcrowding and long wait lists.
  • Provide money to assist the establishment and growth of transgender youth shelters.
  • Require large-scale building retrofits across all sectors by 2050, starting with improvements to all structures erected before 2020 in the following 20 years.
  • Low-interest loans are available to assist families in making energy-efficient upgrades to their houses.
  • Within four years, ensure that all Canadians have access to cheap, dependable high-speed broadband. Included is the establishment of a Crown company to ensure that every community has access to cheap telecom services.

Homeownership – Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

As realtors working on the floor we have first hand experience and understanding on some of the challenges.  CREA has highlighted some matters and possible solutions. Some of this information can be found directly on CREA’s website.

Housing Supply and Infrastructure:

Of the G7 countries, Canada has the fewest housing units per 1,000 people. Population increase is outpacing supply. To address the housing shortage, the federal government must guarantee that enough housing alternatives are accessible for Canadians at all income levels. Housing provisions can be included to Infrastructure Bilateral Agreements between Infrastructure Canada and provincial and territory partners to help them achieve this aim.

To alleviate the housing crisis while also increasing the quality of life for all Canadians, good infrastructure is essential. Increasing construction will help Canada bridge the gap by allowing us to build enough houses to accommodate our expanding population while also allowing us to create more flourishing, sustainable, and inclusive communities.

The implementation of Infrastructure Bilateral Agreements would:

  • encourage creation of more housing supply;
  • encourage a more balanced, fair, and sustainable approach to planning – recognizing the full continuum of housing that exists in Canada;
  • incentivize provinces, territories, and municipalities to raise population density or expedite approval processes – with grants and future funding opportunities;
  • encourage the review of properties that have potential to be turned into housing units; and
  • provide incentives and build capacity of local authorities.

National Housing:

Canada’s housing challenge is a national problem that demands a national solution. All levels of government need to work together to keep the goal of homeownership within reach—particularly for young and new Canadians. The federal government should establish a permanent national housing roundtable bringing together the federal, provincial, and municipal governments along with builders, real estate professionals and civil society organizations. 

To ensure every Canadian has a place to call home, CREA is calling on the federal government to take the lead in establishing a national housing roundtable to identify the factors limiting the supply response of all forms of housing: owned, rental, affordable, single-family, and multi-family.

The national housing roundtable would be an opportunity to:

  • help identify and solve challenges related to social and affordable housing;
  • prioritize the development of processes to help reduce red tape;
  • work with Statistics Canada to determine the size and scale of the housing shortage in Canada;
  • encourage research and innovation in planning and building – such as offsite construction using robotics; and
  • promote and empower industry and Canadians to help meet the national greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and make energy-efficient improvements to their homes.

Affordability and Debt Reduction:

For many Canadians, homeownership is out of reach. Lack of housing supply is the root issue, but there are measures that can help make owning a home more affordable. The federal government needs to provide first-time homeowners with increased incentives and ability to borrow to fund home purchases. 

More support needs to be offered to young Canadians, providing first-time home buyers ample opportunity to enter the housing market while still saving and investing for their futures.

  • increase the RRSP withdrawal limit from $35,000 to $50,000 to better align with current rising costs; and
  • reintroduce the 30-year amortization for insured mortgages to assist first-time home buyers.

Every Canadian deserves the opportunity to live in a home they can afford. By working together we can build a national, holistic approach to create more housing options and ensure Canada remains a fair and equitable place to live for all Canadians.

At RealTown we hope this information has provided you with some insight into what realtors and federal parliament members have to say about the housing market situation. It is without a doubt that some needs to be done quickly. Some of the major challenges would be foreign investors, saving methods, incentives for first time home buyers, and increased construction projects.

To learn more Contact us today or search our MLS listings for your next dream home.

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