MONTREAL/OTTAWA – Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau is urging the Harper government to tread carefully before clamping down more on the housing market, warning that any further tightening could seriously hurt Canada’s second-largest province.
“Quebec’s residential real estate market is currently in balance,” Mr. Marceau said in a written statement Monday following a speech to a business conference in Montreal.
OTTAWA — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is not worried about a housing collapse, saying he is happy he has helped cool the market with the latest round of stricter mortgage rules.
The finance minister says he is also encouraged Canadians are paying down their mortgages and credit cards, and taking on less debt.
The housing slowdown was a big part of the disappointing economic downturn recorded in the third quarter, with the sector falling 3.5% annualized.
Canada’s banking regulator is mulling a further tightening of mortgage rules.
A spokesman for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions told industry newsletter Canadian Mortgage Trends that it’s considering new rules that would limit banks from issuing any mortgages at all with amortizations of more than 25 years.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Friday he regrets that Canada’s housing agency has grown as large as it has and promised to take additional measures if a reduction in the amount of government insurance on mortgages is needed.
The value of home loans insured by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp., which is backed by the federal government, has almost doubled since the end of 2006, saddling taxpayers with a growing liability as policy makers warn that gains in house prices may be unsustainable.
OTTAWA — The Canadian government has no plans for now to clamp down on the housing market even though prices are rising again, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Monday, but he pledged to investigate whether the price uptick looks to be more than temporary.
Flaherty said that it would be his department’s responsibility to act on housing prices since the Bank of Canada has “basically no room to move,” but added: “I have no intention of interfering in the market for the time being.”
When did it become the job of the minister of finance to boost bank profits and stick it to the consumer?
How else do you describe a policy in which the minister of finance appears to tell the banks to cool it when it comes to battling on the mortgage front for customers.
If I’m buying a home today I say: Bring on the mortgage rate wars!
But Jim Flaherty’s comments seemed aimed at getting the banks to try and curb some of the heated competition that happened a year ago when the banks started battling for market share.
Toronto-Dominion Bank chief executive Ed Clark is throwing his support behind Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s decision not tell banks how to price their mortgages.
Dictating to lenders what to charge for home loans is “treacherous territory,” Mr. Clark told reporters on Thursday, following TD’s annual meeting in Calgary.
Mr. Clark said he is “supportive of” Mr. Oliver’s strategy — disclosed in comments to reporters last week — of letting the banks make their own decisions on how much to charge customers.
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he’s not worried by the recent wave of businesses spinning off real estate assets into tax-preferred trusts.
Canadian Tire, the country’s largest sporting goods retailer, said May 9 it will create a $3.5 billion real estate income trust, or REIT, in an initial public offering this fall, becoming the eighth company to either sell or propose such an IPO this year.