Through the term of the current government, and in the months leading up to this month’s federal election, Mortgage Professionals Canada has been working diligently on behalf of its members to advance our three top recommendations to federal policymakers:
- A reduction in the mortgage stress tests
- The reintroduction of a mortgage insurance-eligible 30-year amortization for first-time homebuyers
- A stress test exemption for borrowers who have paid as agreed through their first term and who wish to renew with another lender.
To help you make an informed decision this federal election, we are pleased to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the political promises of each party which may affect our mortgage brokering community, and existing and aspiring homebuyers.
We encourage you all to read this important mid-election update, and make sure you exercise your right to vote! Advance polls open this week.
SUMMARY OF ELECTION PARTY PLATFORMS
Liberal Party of Canada
- Would increase maximum qualifying household income under First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) shared equity mortgage program in Greater Vancouver, Victoria and Greater Toronto regions from $120,000 to $150,000, and increase the maximum household income multiplier from 4x to 5x in these regions (maximum participating home value theoretically increases from approx. $565,000 in rest of Canada to $882,000 in GTA/GVA/Victoria).
- Would introduce a one per cent annual vacancy and speculation tax on applicable residential properties owned by non-resident, non-Canadians.
- Would work with provinces and municipalities to ensure Statistics Canada, CMHC and CRA have tools to accurately track foreign ownership and speculation in Canada.
- Would work with provinces to establish a consistent national approach to beneficial ownership transparency, to fight financial crime in real estate and other sectors.
Conservative Party of Canada
- Would fix the mortgage stress test to ensure that first-time homebuyers aren’t unnecessarily prevented from accessing mortgages and work with OSFI to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals to give homeowners more options.
- Would increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time homebuyers to lower monthly payments.
- Would launch an inquiry into money laundering in the real estate sector and work with our industry partners to root out corrupt practices that inflate housing prices.
- Would make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase housing supply.
New Democratic Party
- Would undertake a study of the existing mortgage stress test qualifying rate and include the input of diverse regional partners and industry experts – not just those in Vancouver or Toronto.
- Would consult with stakeholders, industry experts, and consumers for best practices on creating an exemption for borrowers wishing to renew their mortgage through a different lender.
- Would commit to re-introducing 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first time home buyers.
- Would put in place a Foreign Buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to individuals who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- Would work with provinces to create a public beneficial ownership registry to increase transparency about who owns properties, and require reporting of suspicious transactions in order to help find and stop money laundering.
- Introduce green energy programs for renovations.
- Allow victims of natural disasters (such as flooding) to pay for repairs and rebuilding of homes with funds from their RRSPs. In French: BQ “ont proposé de permettre le retrait d’argent des REER, sans pénalité ni impôts, pour la rénovation des maisons des victimes de sinistres majeurs liés aux changements climatiques.”
Green Party of Canada
- Would end first-time homebuyer grants and programs, focusing instead on affordable rental housing.
- Would create a Canada Co-op Housing Strategy, updating how co-op housing would be financed, “in partnership with CMHC, co-op societies, credit unions and other lenders.”
- Would remove the “deemed” GST whenever a developer with empty condo units places them on the market as rentals.
- Would appoint a Minister of Housing (an overdue requirement for any Canadian government).