Ontario Realtors Lauds Parties’ Focus on Housing Crisis

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The coming federal election is all about housing and building homes, according to the president of the Real Estate Association.

“If the last election was about jobs, jobs, jobs, this election is about homes, homes, homes,” said Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) President David Oikle in a statement. “Ontario’s Realtors are thrilled to see housing affordability is a top election issue with voters. All three major federal parties – the Liberal Party of Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada, and the New Democratic Party of Canada – have put ideas on the table to make the Canadian Dream of homeownership more affordable.”

OREA wants to keep that dream alive, but that will only happen if governments make it easier for first-time buyers to own a home, through increasing housing supply, reducing or eliminating unnecessary government red tape, and addressing affordability, especially for first-time buyers.

The association also praised the Liberal and NDP support of co-ownership or share equity models as a solution to prohibitively high down payment requirements that deter first-time homebuyers. The Liberals’ proposal to slash mortgage insurance rates by 25%, it added, would broaden the path to homeownership as it would let the average insured mortgage holder save $6,100.

It also gave the nod to the Conservatices’ proposal to fix the mortgage stress test so that it does not discriminate against small-business owners, contractors, non-permanent employees, and casual workers. OREA said that the mortgage stress test and other government restrictions are unfair to millennials looking to enter the market, as well as young families looking to move up.

“It’s clear our federal leaders are paying attention, and this election has brought Canada’s housing affordability crisis to the forefront of the political debate,” Oikle said.

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