Hearings on Parliament Hill: CREA Appears Before Finance Committee
In February, Members of Parliament on FINA heard from over 44 witnesses representing a cross-section of the real estate industry. Their study on the Canadian Real Estate Market and Homeownership included hearings about the implications of tightened mortgage and financing regulations.
CREA’s position focuses on keeping the housing market stable, noting the uncertainty for both buyers and sellers caused by recent changes. Of significant concern are policy changes primarily aimed at market conditions in Toronto and Vancouver potentially causing problems in balanced markets elsewhere and that first-time home buyers will feel the brunt of these changes and possibly be priced out of the market.
Opposition members on the Committee took the opportunity to question the implementation of the new regulations, including the lack of industry consultation prior to the rollout in October. CREA, along with other stakeholders present, emphasized a need to reflect on the changes already made and evaluate the impact before further action is taken.
CREA has committed to using its data analysis to better help policy makers understand how the changes have affected the housing market. CREA also re-affirmed its commitment to its recommendations on expansion of the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) as a way to keep homeownership affordable and accessible.
CREA’s AGM & T3 Summit
On March 27, 450 REALTOR® and staff delegates will gather in Ottawa for the 2017 CREA Annual General Meeting. Along with minor bylaw changes related to board and association membership with CREA, the election of CREA’s 2017-18 Board of Directors will take place.
Governance changes made over the last few years have paid off and we have a highly contested election this year. There are 13 REALTORS® running for four Director-at-Large positions and half of the Regional Director positions are also up for grabs. Regional Director elections will be held for B.C. / Yukon as well as the Atlantic region while the Manitoba and Quebec Regional Directors were acclaimed. Part of the work our Governance and Director Recruitment Committees undertook was aimed at ensuring the CREA Board of Directors was seen as an important role, one worthy of running for and that the qualifications for Directors were modernized to ensure that relevant director experience, including experience gained outside of our industry, could be taken into consideration. With the most-ever candidates standing for election this year, it would seem the changes are working.
The day after the AGM, real estate futurist Stefan Swanepoel will be spearheading a T3 Summit for the second year in a row. Last year he produced the D.A.N.G.E.R Report for Canada, which looked at the threats and opportunities that lie ahead for our industry. This year, he’ll continue the conversation and has put together high-level panel discussions on a range of topics from foreign buyers to the future of REALTOR® associations to public perception of REALTORS®.
For those attending, the CREA Booth will be on site to show off the latest tools and innovations and answer any questions members have.
MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Expands Coverage
In January the Oakville-Milton and Guelph real estate boards joined the HPI, bringing the total number of participating boards and associations to 13. Over 50% of Canadian resale housing activity is represented through the HPI. REALTORS® in participating boards are able to use the MLS® HPI with clients to show how price level and trends differ between neighbourhoods and types of homes and to validate pricing recommendations as part of their comparative market analysis (CMA). This video geared to consumers gives an overview of how their REALTOR® can use the HPI to help them. To learn more about the HPI visit homepriceindex.ca.