The General Governor dissolved the House of Commons meaning that a new federal election will take place on the 21st of October. Each political campaign comes with programs meant to improve citizens’ lives and Canadians will have to take everything into account to make a choice. Particularly for first-time buyers. If you are planning on buying your first house, please keep reading if you want understand how the election will affect you.
It is getting harder for young adults to buy a first house and, nowadays, first-time homebuyers are older than they were 30 years ago. The three main political parties have all proposed very different plans to solve the housing crisis in Canada. How are they going to be put into place and how might they affect the country? Will that change your plans on buying a house?
The Liberal Plan
As the Liberals already run the House of Commons, most of their housing plan is already in place or will soon be effective. Among their measures, there are:
- The mortgage stress test: it concerns uninsured mortgage. Its aim is to make sure you can afford to make your monthly mortgage payments even if interest rates rise in the future.
- The First-Time Home Buyers Incentive: this incentive has a number of requirements and is aimed to reduce monthly mortgage payment, through an interest-free loan from the CMHC. Here are the requirements and specifications:
- Household must have an annual income under $120,000
- Down payment must be at least 5%
- Mortgage cannot exceed 4 times the household annual income
- CMHC will give up to 10% loan for new homes and 5% for existing one
- Loan must be repaid at fair value market
- In Victoria and the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas, households making up to $150,000 can benefit from the program and the amount received can reach up to $800,000 as the market is much more expensive there.
This plan aims to protect borrowers from taking more debt than they can handle and facilitate access to housing. Some economists attribute the stress test with lower home prices increase. However, critics have claimed that the stress test has made it harder for some people to buy a house and that the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is not as helping as it aims to.
The Conservative Plan
Under Andrew Scheer, the Conservative party has made 4 main statements for the housing market and homeownership accessibility :
- Loosening the mortgage stress test: according to the Conservatives, this stress test is preventing young adults from buying their first house
- Extending the mortgage amortization to 30 years instead of 25: the Conservative party aims to give more flexibility to First-Time Buyers and either lower their monthly payments or increase purchased house value. This would mean more flexibility for First-Time Buyers
- Tackling the real estate money laundering problem
- Finding new use for unoccupied federal building
However, for some people, these measures would mean, of course more freedom regarding home purchasing, but also more risk to be burdened with a mortgage too important to repay.
The New Democratic Party Plan
As part of the New Deal for People, the New Democratic Party has also introduced different ideas that follow their ideology:
- Building 500,000 affordable housing units in the 2020’s: with would be sustained by the removal of the new affordable housing federal tax that is planned in the next federal budget
- Doubling the Home Buyer’s tax credit: this would help First-Time Buyers with closing costs.
The NDP also wants to extend the mortgage amortization to 30 years for First-Time Buyers.
Political and economical environments should always be considered when intending to buy or rent a property. Those might determine your insurance choice as well. Having the right insurance is a must, even more so if you are a first time buyer. Get a quote with APRIL Rental and see which insurance is best fitted for you and your plans.