housing market

Five policies that could affect the housing market

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Immigration figures into the Real Estate Investment Network’s (REIN) list of five policies that are likely to affect the housing market in the wake of a post-federal election minority government.

The forecast responds to REIN’s analysis of campaign platforms and various government promises. REIN compared the platforms that specifically relate to investors from Liberals, Conservatives, and the New Democratic Party (NDP) to identify the most likely coalitions on various policies.

According to the report, all three parties assessed converge on the same platform of increasing immigration. So, Canada could see an influx of immigrants and changes to that policy, which would significantly boost rental demand. There could also be lower vacancy rates and higher property values.

“An increase in the influx of migrants amounting to over one million people in three years is tantamount to increasing rental demand,” says Jennifer Hunt, vice-president research for REIN. “This is good news for rental housing providers as migrants have higher tendencies to rent property rather than to purchase their own homes, especially within the first four years of settling in Canada.”

Recommendations are also likely for policies in support of increasing housing supply, such as rental building programs. Findings also indicate a possible increase in income taxes for households belonging to higher tax brackets as well as corporations.

The report also reviews other key housing-related political topics that point to increased housing taxes for foreigners and non-Canadian residents, some form of anti-money laundering task force, no changes to the current amortization program and the maintenance of a stress test.

The CMHC First-time Home Buyer’s Incentive Program is also forecasted to stay put. The report suggests watching for a potential increase of the FTHBI’s purchase price limit to nearly $800,000 in high-priced markets in line with the Liberal campaign platform.

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