The real estate and mortgage industry has been reacting the announcement of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan which includes potential curbs on vacant properties and a foreign buyers’ tax.

Toronto Real Estate Board issued a statement welcoming the three levels of government involved in the plan prioritising housing in the market, but added:

“TREB strongly believes that public policy decisions with regard to the housing market should be evidence-based and supported by empirical data. In this regard, it is not clear that the issues targeted by the policies announced today are fully understood at this point, nor is it clear how effective these policies will be, or if they will have unintended outcomes.”

TREB CEO John DiMichele welcomed a review of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.

The Ontario Real Estate Association’s CEO Tim Hudak is also pleased that the REBBA is to be reviewed and said that the association is looking forward to working with the government to modernize the rules.

He also sounded a positive note for the Fair Housing Plan.

“For one, increasing the supply of homes is the best way to give buyers a better shot at home ownership and the government has committed to working with municipalities to remove the barriers to getting more new homes and listings on the market faster,” Hudak said.

Stuart Levings, president and CEO of mortgage insurer Genworth also praised the collaborative approach taken by all levels of government, specifically on addressing the barriers to homeownership faced by first-time buyers.

"As an insurer of first-time homebuyers, we have seen a growing divergence between what first-time buyers can afford and average market prices. These measures will help responsible families and individuals achieve their dreams of homeownership while protecting the equity that existing GGH homeowners have invested in their properties," commented Levings.

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