Houses for sale in Ottawa

What measures could help first-time buyers enter the market?

Lee restated CHBA’s long-standing call for the reintroduction of 30-year amortization periods for insured mortgages for first-time homebuyers, a move he said would be “the perfect solution” to get younger buyers into the market.

He also called for changes to the GST New Housing Rebate, a measure which allows individuals to recoup some of the tax paid for a new or significantly renovated house – but whose thresholds have not been updated since 1991.

“House prices have more than doubled since that time and then gone on even more in our largest urban centres where we really need more supply, and it’s become so difficult for first-time buyers to get in,” he said. “So we’ve been calling for a doubling of those thresholds, and that would have an immediate and very specific impact on affordability.”

Measures to boost housing infrastructure key, executive suggests

Lee said more investment in housing-enabling infrastructure, and a reduction in government-imposed costs when building a home, would also help bring more supply to market and increase purchasing opportunities across the country.

“The government does transfer a fair amount of money to the provinces and municipalities to support infrastructure – so making sure that that’s tied directly to positive housing outcomes in terms of more supply would be really beneficial,” he explained.

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