Just Listed! The Tastiest House on the Market

This Holiday season, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and REALTORS® are inspiring Canadians to donate to local Habitat for Humanity building projects to help families in need.

We launched our holiday campaign with GingerbreadDreamHome.ca, a life-size gingerbread home complete with the finest furnishings like candy chandeliers, ice cream sandwich couches and even a marble fudge countertop.

While the Gingerbread Dream Home is a stretch of the imagination, REALTORS® can also make the holidays a little sweeter by helping bridge the gap for low-income families to achieve affordable homeownership.

Visit GingerbreadDreamHome.ca before December 13 to learn more and donate to your local Habitat for Humanity. Don't forget to spread the seasonal cheer and encourage others to make a donation!

Implementation of the New Stress Test for Uninsured Mortgages

Last month the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed the implementation of a new minimum qualifying stress test for uninsured mortgages. Guideline B-20 now requires borrowers who have a down payment of 20% or more to qualify for a mortgage at a higher rate. Borrowers will have to be approved at either the five-year mortgage rate published by the Bank of Canada (currently 4.99%) OR the mortgage rate the federally-regulated financial institution offers plus 2%, whichever is higher.

The revised Guideline B-20 comes into effect on January 1, 2018. However, if a borrower has put down a deposit and received a mortgage eligibility assessment or pre-approval from a federally-regulated lender prior to January 1, 2018, the lender has the discretion to offer the loan based on the pre-existing guideline (including the prior qualification rate).

We encourage REALTORS® to remind their clients who have put down a deposit on a home but don't need a mortgage for some time or are uncertain about access to mortgage financing as a result of the revisions to Guideline B-20 to contact their federally-regulated lender directly.

The REALTOR® Community Raises $109.6M for Charity in Five Years

REALTORS Care® is more than just a place to catch up on philanthropic feel-good stories; it's a guiding principal that celebrates the real difference REALTORS® are making in communities across Canada.

In order to help quantify that collective impact, for the fifth year in a row we asked REALTORS®, brokerages, franchisors, real estate boards and associations and their affiliated charitable foundations how much they raised in their communities.

The result? An incredible $109,677,333 raised and donated from 2012-2016.

Go ahead, give yourselves a pat on the back! While you're at it, be sure to share this great news with your friends and colleagues. This significant milestone is a true testament to the incredible difference you're making in your communities. Well done!

CREA Welcomes the National Housing Strategy

The federal government released Canada's first-ever National Housing Strategy (NHS). The strategy is a 10-year, $40-billion plan focused on giving more Canadians a place to call home.

We were pleased to participate in the consultations and provided input through a submission in 2016. The submission emphasized the importance of maintaining a complete view of the housing spectrum, which includes keeping homeownership as an affordable and accessible housing option for all Canadians.

The goal of the NHS is to ensure Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and is affordable. Over the next 10 years, the government will focus on the following aspects:

We applaud the government for recognizing there are housing challenges and needs across the entire housing spectrum. However, we're disappointed that housing affordability for all Canadians was not adequately addressed and will continue to push the government to recognize that affordability challenges exist for more than just lower-income Canadians.

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