During the past few weeks, we have been working diligently to reinforce the message that the Board of Directors and members have asked that we discuss with policymakers since the beginning of 2018; namely the following changes to the mortgage macro-prudential rules:
- A reduction in the mortgage stress tests
- The reintroduction of a mortgage insurance-eligible 30-year amortization for first-time homebuyers
- A stress test exemption for borrowers who have paid as agreed through their first term and who wish to renew with another lender
These recommendations were primarily made in the interest of supporting access to homeownership for younger, aspiring middle-class Canadians, whose long term economic well-being has been disproportionately disadvantaged by the recent changes.
In July, J.P. Boutros, our Director of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs, wrote an article for MPC’s Perspectives magazine detailing the government relations efforts the association has undertaken on behalf of members. It provides an overview of meetings with senior policymakers from all parties, and what we hoped would happen during the current election campaign.
I encourage you to read the article published in August, as it has predicted some recent election campaign events. Entitled, Housing Affordability: The Inescapable Federal Election Issue, the article:
- Showed support for the Liberal Government’s First Time Home Buyer Incentive, with the caveat that it needed to be improved for the Toronto and Vancouver markets (the Liberals have since committed to increase income limits and loan multiple limits if re-elected, based in part on our advice).
- Explained, in some detail, how we have discussed your issues with the New Democratic Party, Conservative Party, and the Liberal Party.
- Explained the value of voting, and how elections in Canada work.
- Complimented CMHC, who were tasked by the government with coming up with a program which was as “Goldilocks” as possible for an uneven national housing market.
- Showed, in retrospect, the power of our advocacy, and how volunteering and being a member yields results.
- Most importantly, clearly stated that, “Our overriding government-relations goal is to remain apolitical while we deliver the goals our members, through the board, insist upon.”
In retrospect, the article explains how effective MPC has been - and is - during this election. It explains the strategy and tactics we have employed, and the results we’re now witnessing. We believe the article helps explain how we operate as a non-partisan association, biased only towards our members and their clients.
History tells us that federal political parties in Canada can win a majority government with fewer than 40% of voters choosing them.This further demonstrates the importance of your vote, a right we urge you to exercise.
Prior to the official election call, we asked each of the six political parties with seats in the House of Commons the following questions regarding housing policy in Canada:
- Does your party support reducing the mortgage stress test qualifying rate, currently at 5.19% despite five-year closed terms being available for under 3%? If yes, what do you consider an acceptable level or alternate mechanism; if not, please provide details.
- Does your party support a stress test exemption for borrowers who have paid as agreed through their most recent mortgage term and who wish to renew with a different lender?
- In your first year in office, will your party reintroduce mortgage insurance-eligible 30-year amortizations for first-time buyers? If not, does your platform contain an alternative provision to provide additional financing options for aspiring middle-class Canadians, or does your party feel the housing market is now well structured and needs no adjustment? Please provide details.
- How will you support or incentivize new home starts to prevent steep price increases due to lack of supply?
- What other measures in your party’s platform address and acknowledge the concerns of the mortgage brokering community and its clients?
Below, in order of their party’s caucus size in the last parliament, we detail what political parties have told us, directly and through the campaign to date.
Detailed Party Platforms:
Summary of Party Platforms:
MPC’s mission statement is simple: Advancing the mortgage broker channel. In our advocacy efforts, we strive to be Canada’s unified, authoritative voice of the mortgage broker channel, and through the considerable time and contributions of many volunteer members, I am proud to say this is how we are now widely regarded. I understand that voting is a deeply personal activity, and many factors will drive each of your personal choices. MPC is deliberately non-partisan, and I have no request of you other than to please ensure to exercise your right and vote for the party of your choice. As an association representing individuals working in the housing finance sector, our presentation of the respective parties’ housing platforms is made to assist you when weighing all elements of your decision.
We always welcome your questions and comments so please do not hesitate to contact me directly, or J.P. Boutros at email@example.com.
President and CEO