Builder calls on lower rates to spur homebuilding investment

While the federal government can work on removing the roadblocks to building more supply, builder says assistance from housing investors would be a welcome development

Builder calls on lower rates to spur homebuilding investment

Lower interest rates would be a significant incentive for more investors to build homes, according to Sam Biasucci, owner of the Ontario-based SalDan Construction Group.

Biasucci said that while the federal government is ideally placed to remove the roadblocks preventing more housing supply to be built at a faster pace, assistance from housing investors would be a welcome development.

“There’s only so much we can expect from the government,” Biasucci told CBC News.

Earlier this week, the Liberal government pledged an additional $15 billion in new funding for the construction of more than 30,000 new purpose-built rental homes.

However, Biasucci said that even this seemingly enormous sum will not be enough to address the housing supply crisis across all markets nationwide.

“At the end of the day, the government is not in the business of building houses,” he said. “Developers and builders like us have to figure out a way, and keep figuring out the different ways to build the houses.”

Adrian Dingle, director of development at the non-profit affordable housing advocacy group Raising the Roof, said that addressing the crisis requires cooperation across all levels of government.

“Our project in Sudbury that completed recently is a great example of strong municipal participation,” Dingle said. “At our next opportunity to develop in the north, we’re looking to involve municipal, provincial, and federal funding in order to make sure that we can have the greatest impact.”

CMHC calls for multi-sector cooperation

Earlier this year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said that resolving the ongoing volatility in the housing market requires an “all-hands-on-deck” approach.

While policies are already in place to address the current crisis, more input from other sectors aside from CMHC will definitely be needed.

“There’s not one solution,” outgoing CMHC president and CEO Romy Bowers said at the time. “There’s not one institution or level of government or organization that can address the issue.”

RE/MAX Canada president Christopher Alexander added that the tendency of governments and private sector entities to “point fingers at each other” continues to stymie progress in this area,

“Until they start working together and share the same common goal and interest, we’re going to continue to have challenges with inventory,” Alexander told Canadian Mortgage Professional. “We need a three-level government housing strategy for the country.”