Real estate industry reacts to Trudeau's 2024 housing plan

Groups see positives but argue affordability crisis will roll on

Real estate industry reacts to Trudeau's 2024 housing plan

The mortgage and real estate sector have voiced strong support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new housing plan, with calls for a broader application of some policies and caution against potential regulatory overreach.

The national housing strategy aims to spur the construction of 3.87 million new homes by 2031 through funding, policy changes, and other supports. It includes provisions to help provinces and municipalities eliminate exclusionary zoning, freeze development charges, and invest in housing-enabling infrastructure.

“TRREB is pleased to see that Canada’s Housing Plan commits to helping future home buyers achieve their dreams through extending mortgage amortizations for first-time home buyers and increasing the home buyers’ plan withdrawal limit,” said Jennifer Pearce, president of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TREB).

However, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) argued that the 30-year amortization extension should be expanded beyond first-time buyers on new builds.

“As families look for a great place to lay down their roots, their budget shouldn’t be contingent on whether they’re purchasing a newly built or pre-owned home,” OREA chief executive Tim Hudak explained. “In the middle of a housing affordability crisis, many Ontario families, not just first-time homebuyers, would benefit from the relief of 30-year amortizations on their mortgages.”

Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), welcomed the plan’s incentives to build more rental housing but cautioned that “the federal government must do more for people who want to buy their first home.”

Read more: Ontario pushes new bill to boost housing construction

RESCON data shows that 76% of prospective homebuyers can’t afford the properties currently being built, with taxes, fees and levies accounting for 31% of new home costs. The group called for further action to improve affordability for first-time buyers.

Lyall also backed the initiative to make more public land available for housing, highlighting the critical role of land availability in solving the housing supply and affordability crisis.

“You can’t advance a nation and homebuilding without having the land to build on,” Lyall said. “If implemented properly, the plan will certainly help the situation by freeing up more land for housing. We have a dire housing supply and affordability crisis and must pull out all the stops.”

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