A Political Primer: Each Parties Stance on Housing
September 26, 2019
A Political Primer: Each Parties Stance on Housing – This year’s federal election has several hot-topic issues such as economy, childcare, taxes, climate change, but one topic has been receiving the most amount of attention – housing.
Issues surrounding affordability and mortgages have all been at the forefront of this year’s election.
Below are the currently released federal party platform and commitments on housing.
Liberal Party of Canada
· Fully Implement the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which provides Canadians with up to 10% off the purchase price of their first home.
· Expand the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to provide more help to communities in the greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria regions by allowing homes valued at up to $789,473 to qualify, up from $505,263. This new program would apply as of November 2019.
· Address the impact of foreign speculation, which drives up housing costs, by putting in place a consistent 1% annual vacancy and speculation tax on applicable residential properties owned by non-resident, non-Canadians.
- The current foreign buyer’s tax applies to the Greater Golden Horseshoe (15%) and Metro Vancouver (20%)
· Retrofit 1.5 million homes over the next five year by giving interested homeowners a free energy audit and an interest-free loan of up to $40,000 for retrofits based on the results of the audit, with a cash incentive of $250-$750 going to those who cut energy waste.
· Provide a Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5,000 for newly built homes that are certified zero-emissions.
· A national approach to Foreign Speculation will be applied by instituting a 1% annual vacancy and speculation tax on applicable residential properties owned by non-resident, non-Canadians.
Conservative Party of Canada
· Fix the mortgage stress test to ensure that first-time homebuyers aren’t unnecessarily prevented from accessing mortgages and work with OSFI to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals to give homeowners more options.
- Renewals with the current lender are already exempt
· Increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time homebuyers to lower monthly payments. (Uninsured mortgages already last 30 years)
- The previous Conservative government cut amortizations 3x in four years, lowering from 40-35 in 2008, 30 to 25 in 2011 and down to 25 in 2012.
· Launch an inquiry into money laundering in the real estate sector and work with our industry partners to root out corrupt practices that inflate housing prices.
· Make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase the supply of housing.
· Create a two-year Green Homes Tax Credit for homeowners to help pay for energy-saving renovations. Canadians will be eligible to receive a 20% refundable credit on their income tax for green improvements to their homes of over $1,000 and up to $20,000.
New Democratic Party of Canada
· Buyers: Re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first time home buyers. (Uninsured mortgages already last 30 years)
· Buyers: Assist people with closing costs by doubling the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500. Currently set at $750.
· Co-Housing: Resources to facilitate co-housing, such as model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources, and ease of access to financing by offering CMHC backed co-ownership mortgages
· New Construction: Create 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next 10 years, with half of that done within 5 years. The federal portion of the GST/HST will be waived on new affordable rental units to spur construction.
· Money Laundering: The provinces will work to create a public beneficial ownership registry to increase transparency about who owns properties and require reporting of suspicious transactions to help find and stop money laundering.
· Environment: A target will be set to retrofit all housing stock in Canada by 2050, by providing low-interest loans repayable through energy savings to pay for home upgrades like insulation, windows, heat pumps, and other renewable technologies.
· Construction: The National Building Code will be improved to ensure that by 2030 every new building built in Canada is net-zero energy ready.
· Foreign Ownership / Market Control: A Foreign Buyer’s tax will be put in place on the sale of homes to individuals who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- This tax would apply on top of the foreign buyer’s tax already in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (15%) and Metro Vancouver (20%)
· Foreign Ownership / Market Control: A 15% foreign buyers tax will be put in place on purchases of residential property by foreign corporations or people who are not citizens or permanent residents.
· Retrofit all housing stock in Canada by 2050 by providing low-interest loans repayable through energy savings to pay for home upgrades like insulation, windows, heat pumps, and other renewable technologies.
Green Party of Canada
· Eliminate the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.
· Re-focus the core mandate of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporate (CMHC) on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to its current priority of supporting Canadian lenders to de-risk investment in housing ownership. With many housing markets demonstrably overvalued, and homeownership rates among the highest in the world, individual homeownership should not be the preoccupation of a public service housing agency and a national housing strategy.
· Finance building retrofits and installation of renewable energy technologies such as solar and heat pumps through direct grants, zero-interest loans and repayments based on energy/cost savings.
· Change the national building code to require new construction to meet net-zero emission standards by 2030 and work with the provinces to enact it.
The commitments laid out by each party all have a level of importance whether you are buying, selling or already a homeowner. The question remains, can each party live up to their commitments?
*No details found from the Peoples Party of Canada*
* A Political Primer: Each Parties Stance on Housing – written by Benczik Team Realty
For more information on your home, visit our website and get a free home evaluation to ensure you get the best seller’s service! With experience around Markham, Stouffville, Unionville, and all of York Region, Benczik Team Realty works to serve you in the best way possible! Act now, and don’t miss out on this ever-growing market.