Realtors tell gov’t housing market still ‘balanced’

Canada’s realtors told Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the country’s housing market is essentially balanced, as they kicked off a lobbying effort in Ottawa, reports The Globe and Mail.

The message that the realtors wanted the prime minister to hear was “that the market is quite balanced,” said CREA president Beth Crosbie. “When we’re giving out statistics, they’re often weighted in terms of some of the bigger areas, like Vancouver or Toronto, but markets are very much local and while there are some areas perhaps that aren’t balanced, overall it’s very much a balance.”

Each year CREA picks two or three issues that it wants to discuss with the politicians. For the last couple of years one of the main ones has been the Home Buyers’ Plan, which has been around since 1992.

The realtors’ main request is that the plan be indexed to inflation, which essentially means bumped up again. The limit was increased to $25,000 in 2009.

But the Home Buyers’ Plan is controversial, and there have been calls for it to be scrapped altogether.

For their part, the realtors argue that it “helps consumers save on mortgage insurance fees and allows them to build home equity sooner.”

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