New Mortgage Rules

October 20, 2016

Recently, Hon. Bill Morneau, the minister of finance, announced new mortgage rules for Canadians.

Seniors, first-time homebuyers, and many other Canadians could be negatively impacted by these new changes.

The biggest issue that has come up regarding these new rules is that they impose a one-size-fits-all approach across Canada. Even if we know they are truly targeted at Vancouver and Toronto, they have the potential to have negative effects on housing markets in smaller communities.

There is the potential for these new rules to negatively affect housing prices in places like Bow River, and other small, rural markets. This could result from many new homeowners being locked out by the new mortgage stress testing rules, as they are known. Less first-time homebuyers could lead to a decrease in the value of your property or home of up to 10%.

Another issue that has come up is that there were no consultations with Canadians before these new mortgage rules were enacted. There is a danger in not consulting with a broad variety of people and groups when such changes are considered.

There are concerns in some part of the country that the changes will affect what is already a ‘soft market’ for housing, meaning that home sales figures are already at lows.

To be clear, we do not oppose attempts to fight fraud and speculation in the real estate market. But we do have concerns about the new mortgage rules.

I recently met with representatives of the Canadian Real Estate Association from Bow River, including Brian Reinboldt from Brooks, who were in Ottawa for meetings with MPs and Ministers. They expressed serious concerns about these new changes, which could have negative impacts on our local housing market in Brooks, Strathmore, Chestermere, and the rural parts of Bow River. They also pointed out that many Canadians do not make use of the Home Buyers’ Plan, which is a federal government initiative coordinated by the Canada Revenue Agency. The plan allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.

Housing and mortgages are an important issue for many Canadians, and we will be monitoring closely the impacts of these new changes in the coming months, and whether or not they are indicators of impending economic turmoil.

For questions and comments, I can be reached in Ottawa at 613-992-0761 or martin.shields@parl.gc.ca or in Brooks at 1-844-241-0020 or martin.shields.c1@parl.gc.ca.