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Liberal Changes to Mortgage Rules Adversely Impact First-time Homebuyers and Canadian Housing Markets: MP Strahl

CHILLIWACK-HOPE – Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Hope, has heard from concerned home-buyers and local mortgage brokers on changes that the Liberal Government made that make it more difficult for hard-working Canadians to qualify for a mortgage.

“These changes are taking away that dream of home ownership from thousands of first-time homebuyers,” said MP Strahl. “We have been hearing across the country that these Liberal changes are hurting Canadians”.

In October 2016, the Liberal government introduced changes that were meant to reinforce the Canadian housing finance system, including changing eligibility criteria for high-and low-ration insured mortgages. Unfortunately, these changes have made it more difficult for first-time homebuyers to get a mortgage. Moreover, they have hurt housing markets across the country.

The latest statistics from the B.C. Real Estate Association show that home sales in February were down almost 32% compared to the same month a year ago. Total sales dollar volume was down almost 40% and the average price fell almost 12% from last year.

“These changes were implemented as a one-size-fits-all solution to high prices in Toronto and Vancouver. Unfortunately, they have hurt housing markets across the country, including here in Chilliwack and Hope,” said MP Strahl.

The Federal Finance Committee heard from witnesses in early February who delivered a strong message to the Minister of Finance: these changes are not working and should be rolled back.

Canada’s mortgage rules are already considered amongst the strongest in the world, a fact that helped our economy weather the 2008 Recession. Throughout that time, the Conservative Government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper took steps to encourage, rather than discourage home ownership.

“Based on consultation with stakeholders across the country, the Conservative Party believes that these changes should be rolled back,” concluded MP Strahl.