CALGARY, AB (January 30, 2019)– Federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) policies are keeping the dream of home ownership out of the reach of Albertans and the province needs to be exempted, United Conservative leader Jason Kenney said today during a speech to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
CMHC’s “stress test” for prospective homeowners was designed for the overheated Vancouver and Toronto housing markets and is an added barrier for Albertans, especially young families, looking to make their own purchase.
“Purchasing a home is the biggest investment in the future that many families make,” said Kenney. “The additional stress test imposed by federal policies is an added burden on families that are starting out, who have saved for down payments in an already struggling economy.”
The stress tests currently in place in Alberta are twice the expected rise in interest rates in an Alberta market that has been flat since 2015.
The Bank of Canada recently stated that they expect rates to rise by 1 percentage point in the medium term, and they are slowing rate increases due to ‘uncertainty.’ However, many real estate markets in Alberta are flat.
According to CREB figures, housing sales in the city were 14 per cent lower last year than in 2017. According to one analysis, it represented the lowest amount of home sales since the mid-1990s, when Calgary had a smaller population and fewer dwellings.
“We are calling on CMHC and the federal government to exempt Alberta from these rules that are side swiping our economy,” said Kenney. “Too many Alberta families are being blocked from home ownership as the result of a federal policy aimed at overheated markets elsewhere in the country.”
“The Alberta NDP has done and said nothing to fight for Albertans hurt by this unfair policy imposed by their Trudeau Liberal Government allies. As soon as the Legislature convenes, we will present a motion calling on the federal government to exempt Alberta from the CMHC stress test, and if elected we will build a coalition with other provinces whose economy has been hurt by this Liberal policy.”