New Mortgage Regulations In Effect
Last week the new measures announced on October 3, 2016, by Canada's Finance Minister, The Hon. Bill Morneau, came in to effect. These measures aim to "ensure a stable housing market for all Canadians" and include closing a tax loophole regarding capital gains tax exemptions on principal residences that the government believes is being exploited by foreign buyers and introducing a mortgage rate stress test that will be applied to all new insured mortgages. Read the Minister's announcement here.
The REALTOR® community supports rules that protect homebuyers from taking on too much debt, but we are deeply concerned the new regulations do not take into account that Canada is a mosaic of housing markets. With all real estate being intrinsically local, national broad strokes policies can lead to a cascade of serious, unintended effects in communities across Canada.
To make our concerns known to the government, CREA's Board of Directors has approved a five step action plan. The steps are:
- Communicating our concerns in greater detail to Members of Parliament (MPs) during and after our political advocacy conference PAC Days (read the next article for more on the impact of our advocacy conference).
- Launching a Call-to-Action in mid-November on the REALTOR® Action Network (RAN) to align with the government's pre-budget cycle.
- Providing quarterly updates to the Minister of Finance on the impact of the new regulations on resale housing.
- Hosting a housing policy stakeholder meeting in later November with other key players in the real estate industry.
- Launching a follow-up Call-to-Action in the spring prior to the budget to bring the results to an in-person meeting with the Minister of Finance.
As CREA puts the five step plan into action, we need all REALTORS® to lend your voice, take action on RAN and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
If you are concerned about how the new regulations may affect your clients and homebuyers and sellers in your community, join RAN now at REALTORActionNetwork.ca and be ready to respond when the Call-to-Action launches in November.
REALTOR® PAC Reps Take to the Hill
A record number of the REALTOR® community's most politically engaged attended CREA's annual advocacy conference "PAC Days" in Ottawa to meet with their Members of Parliament (MPs).
Delegates – known as "PAC Reps" – took to the Hill to discuss our REALTOR® advocacy proposals to index the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) to preserve its purchasing power and extend the program to Canadians going through significant life changes.
The HBP has been a stepping stone that has allowed over 2.9 million Canadians to achieve homeownership and stability for their family since its inception in 1992. Without indexation, the program will not be able to offer homebuyers of tomorrow the value it has offered homebuyers of today and yesterday.
During the conference, the new mortgage regulations came into effect.
We are pleased that our REALTOR® PAC Reps were able to clearly and articulately voice REALTORS® concerns about the impact the regulations will have on markets big and small across Canada. This recent article in the Hill Times, indicates that our voices were heard by MPs.
CREA will continue to monitor the effects of the new regulations on Canada's housing markets and continue to engage with the government.
Earlier this month, we also made our submission to the government's National Housing Strategy consultations. You can read our submission and learn more about our 2016 REALTOR® Action Issues at CREA.ca/mp.
CREA Hosting Open Houses Across the Country
Over the last few of years, CREA has been expanding our efforts to communicate directly with REALTORS® and to build a greater sense of understanding and trust. A big part of that is the CREA Open Houses we've been hosting across the country. This year we've been from St. John's, NL all the way to Salmon Arm, BC, meeting members like you along the way.
This traveling road show is a forum for you to hear how CREA is working to help you and your business, join in the dialogue with your national representatives and share your views about what you hear.
The Open Houses cover topics that you've asked about including REALTOR.ca, the "DANGER Report," WEBForms®, CREA's advertising campaign, federal lobbying and more.
With more stops to come later this year, we invite you to come out and learn more about how you can take full advantage our products and services. Real estate is truly a belly-to-belly business and Open Houses are a key way our community connects with one another and builds relationships.
Here are the next stops on our tour:
November 1 – London, ON
November 2 – Toronto, ON
November 16 – Mississauga, ON
November 28-29 – Montreal, QC
November 30 – Hamilton, ON
See you soon!
Carve Up Halloween Fun
Just what your Halloween is missing: We've prepared these #ProudREALTOR themed pumpkin stencils as a fun way to spruce up your home or Open House for Halloween.
We recruited a few CREA staff to carve our "model" pumpkins but we want to see your pictures, too!
Grab the stencils from CREA Café and tag your photos online using #ProudREALTOR.
CREA Awarded Excellence Gold
CREA is delighted to announce we've been awarded Gold recognition in Excellence, Innovation and Wellness by Excellence Canada. This third party endorsement of what we do at CREA indicates to others that we are among the best managed and operated organizations in the country.
CREA President Cliff Iverson noted what this standard means for members. "REALTORS® across the country can be proud of their national association," said Cliff Iverson, president of CREA. "The Gold Level certification is a tangible sign that CREA is committed to achieving excellence through continuous improvement."
The award reflects that CREA is focused on providing excellent products and services to our members and creating a workplace that enables our staff to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.