The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) welcomes the various measures in Budget 2019 that will help address housing affordability and provide meaningful support for Canadians. REALTORS® have been advocating on behalf of millennials and others who aspire to homeownership but are struggling to reach their goal amid a challenging environment.
CREA commends the Government of Canada for supporting homeownership by: launching the first-time home buyer incentive program; increasing the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000; extending the use of the HBP to those going through a marital breakdown as well as other measures to support housing supply and affordability.
“Millennials are passionate about owning their own home, but many are worried they will never be able to because of higher home prices and tougher mortgage qualifying rules,” said Barb Sukkau, CREA’s President. “REALTORS® have been advocating for the modernization of the HBP and are pleased to see it addressed in Budget 2019. The measures announced today will help today’s millennials in a tangible way, while also addressing some longer-term concerns related to housing supply and sustainability.”
The economic and social benefits of homeownership are important within Canadian society. The housing sector makes a significant contribution to the Canadian economy. Resale housing transactions through the MLS® Systems generated an estimated $31.7 billion in spin-off spending and created more than 216,000 jobs in 2018. For most, a home is the single largest financial investment of their life and an important piece of their retirement planning.
REALTORS® also support the government’s recommendation of making the National Housing Strategy a permanent program that reports progress and outcomes to Parliament. Long-term investments to protect vulnerable social housing programs and build the next generation of affordable housing is essential to ensure the entire housing spectrum is supported. Today’s additional support of $10 billion and an extension until 2027-28 for Rental Construction Financing Initiative is welcomed.
CREA is encouraged that the federal government is carefully monitoring the effects of B-20 mortgage regulations with a view to limiting negative impacts on housing markets that are in balance or struggling, and on economic growth in Canada.
REALTORS® look forward to continuing the conversation about housing affordability and homeownership with the government.