As we all know Canada has been wrestling with challenging issues around housing affordability and foreign ownership and lately there has been some speculation the 2017 Federal Budget would address some of these issues.
In an effort to temper real estate speculation some had thought there may be a change to the capital gains taxation or a NATIONAL foreign buyers tax like the one we have here in BC.
Instead, the Feds are placing their efforts into affordable housing across Canada. Specifically, low income residents and families, the homeless, norther communities and First Nations groups. 11.2 Billion over the next 5 years. 5 Billion for a New National Housing Fund that will create new housing units across the country and 3.2 Billion to be spread between the provincial governments for more affordable housing.
In addition, FED Budget 2017 proposes 241 Million for CMHC over the next 11 years and 39.9 Million to Stats Canada over the next 5 years. All funds to be used to collect data and establish a new Housing Stats System and a nationwide database (including foreign ownership stats) built to inform the National Housing Strategy and policy decisions.
This much needed money is LONG overdue but how does this help affordability for the middle class family in Canada? Sadly, it doesn't. The spending noted above is the only funding in the 2017 FED Budget that speaks to the Real Estate Market.
While the Feds collect data on home ownership across the country for 5 years or more - real estate markets here and afar continue to price most of us out of the market. Or for many of us, did so long ago but the problem with Federal intervention in Real Estate is the blanket nature of their policies. For example ... pricing in Vancouver and Toronto continue to skyrocket while other markets across the country are contracting in value. Tightening lending practices and introducing taxes can only further depresses Eastern and Northern and Albertan communities.
That being said, closer to home the Provincial Liberals delivered their 5th consecutive balanced budget with the following efforts aimed at improving affordability ...
An increase (to $500,000 from $475,000) of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) threshold.
An increase (to $1.6 million from $1.2 million) of the Home Owner Grant threshold.
Dedicating $728 million of PTT revenue for affordable housing projects and programs, including the new BC Home Owner Mortgage Equity Program.
Dedicating $159 million to help make rent affordable for low-income families and seniors in private market rental units.
All much needed LONG AGO changes ... changes likely stalled for purposes of the upcoming election cycle.
Federal Budget: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/3522426/Budget-2017.pdf
Provincial Budget highlights: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2017/highlights/Balanced_Budget_2017_Highlights.pdf