Ontario Real Estate Association calls on Ottawa for relaxed mortgage rules

TORONTO — The Ontario Real Estate Association is calling for less stringent mortgage rules in a rebuttal aimed at the head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

OREA chief executive Tim Hudak says in a letter to federal policy-makers that Ottawa should consider restoring 30-year insured mortgages, ease up on the interest rate stress test, and eliminate the test altogether for those renewing their mortgage with a different lender.

In the letter to the House of Commons finance committee, Hudak takes aim at comments made by CMHC president CEO Evan Siddall, who has been a vocal critic of those lobbying for eased rules.

He questions Siddall's logic on the 30-year mortgage restriction and says the association ``strenuously'' disagrees with his conclusion on stress tests for renewals.

Hudak says the more stringent rules, brought in to cool an overheated housing market, are making it harder for first-time buyers to enter the market.

Siddall, in a May letter to the committee, urged it to ``look past the plain self-interest'' of the parties lobbying for eased rules to protect the economy from ``potentially tragic consequences.''

© 2019 The Canadian Press