OREA calls on government to strike affordable homeownership task force
(Marketwired) — The best way to ensure millennials have a good shot at achieving the Canadian dream of homeownership is by putting more homes on the market, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) told the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs January 18, 2017. In its 2017 pre-budget consultation, OREA recommended the creation of an affordable homeownership task force to determine how government can best improve housing supply and expand consumer choice.
“We are facing a critical housing supply shortage that is putting homeownership out of reach for Ontario’s first-time buyers and young families,” said Valerie Miles, OREA government relations committee chair. “In some markets, housing inventory is at all-time lows and prices are at record highs. Increasing the housing stock is necessary to give buyers more options at affordable levels. We need industry leaders to come together on this issue before the supply problem gets any worse.”
The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) recently reported that housing supply has plummeted over the past decade. The lack of housing supply is a main driving factor for increasing prices of new single-family detached houses and highrise condos in the GTA.
In its pre-budget consultation, OREA recommended several ways to increase housing stock, including: reducing the red-tape around getting building permits approved; dedicated funding to help service land designated for development to incent builders to start projects sooner; and moving away from the proposed one-size-fits-all intensification targets under the provincial growth plan to allow developers to build “missing middle” housing types, namely townhomes, duplexes and stacked townhomes.
“The government is asking Ontarians for ways to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives — a strong real estate market checks off all three boxes,” said Tim Hudak, OREA CEO. “Every home transaction generates $55,000 in economic spin-offs which creates jobs and supports local business, while homeownership offers endless social benefits for families and communities. If the goal of the pre-budget consultation is to build up Ontario’s future, then finding ways to make home ownership affordable is a great place to start.”
This month, Ontario increased the land transfer tax rebate to $4,000, which was previously $2,000, to help make homeownership more affordable for first-time buyers.
“The government deserves credit for taking positive steps to address affordability,” said Hudak. “We need more efforts like this to keep the dream of homeownership alive in Ontario. We look forward to continuing to work with policy makers on improving affordability even further.”
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 39 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services.