CMHC’s stress test has become an added barrier for Albertans

CMHC Policies Hurting Alberta Families

CMHC Policies Hurting Alberta Families

Posted On: Monday, February 11, 2019

During a speech to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), UCP Leader Jason Kenney called on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and the federal government to scale back legislation when it comes to buying a home. 

“One of the reasons why homes are less affordable in Alberta today is because of unfair rules imposed by Ottawa to deal with the overheated real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver”. 

CMHC’s stress test was designed for the overheated Vancouver and Toronto housing markets but became an added barrier for Albertans, especially young families looking to purchase a home.

The stress tests are meant as a makeshift to ensure that anyone taking out home loans has the finances to weather against increasing interest rates. However, critics say the rules unfairly hinder home-buying and depress the market.

"If you elect a United Conservative government, we are going to go to bat for (those) who are being pushed away from home ownership because of the prejudicial, regional, unfair stress test imposed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.," Kenney said Wednesday in a speech to Calgary real estate agents.

Kenney noted his party will act on this before any election.

“A motion at the first opportunity in the next (sitting of the) legislature calling on the federal government to withdraw its unfair attack on Alberta home ownership.”

According to CREB figures, housing sales in Calgary were 14 percent lower last year than in 2017. According to one analysis, it represented the lowest amount of home sales since the mid-1990s, when Calgary had a smaller population and fewer dwellings.

Not only the stress test, but interest rate hikes and taxes on foreign homebuyers have contributed to the slowdown of Canada’s housing market.

The consequences of a slowdown in housing markets could result in a detrimental effect on the entire economy, including jobs in real estate and construction. Additionally, one can expect to see an increase in demand for rental housing.  

Credits: Excerpts taken from CBC

The Canadian Press · CBC News · Posted: Jan 30, 2019 4:14 PM MT | Last Updated: Jan 30

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