Budget didn’t do enough on housing for everyone

While some of the measures outlined this week in the federal government’s budget have been welcomed by the real estate industry, there is still room for criticism.

The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says that it would have liked to have seen concrete commitments on tax measures related to housing, particularly the Home Buyers’ Plan.

“There is no clear commitment from the government regarding the HBP, particularly in terms of an increase in eligible amounts or in terms of using the HBP during significant life changes, as promised in the Liberal Party’s platform for the October 2015 election,” said Daniel Dagenais, President of the GMREB Board of Directors.

“In 1992, the maximum eligible amount of $20,000 represented more than 13 per cent of the average property price in Canada, whereas today, the eligible amount of $25,000, increased in 2009, represents barely 5 per cent of the average property price,” he added.

The board also wanted to see more incentives for first-time buyers who have been affected by changes to mortgage rules.

The budget has also been criticized by housing advocates behind the Generation Squeeze campaign.

In a blog post, the campaign highlights that Ottawa’s National Housing Strategy spoke of vulnerable seniors while having “no mention of young Canadians struggling with the rising costs of rent and ownership.

It says that many seniors have benefitted from housing wealth while young Canadians are left with a burden of deficits which could have been reduced by taxing the capital gains from the housing wealth of seniors.

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