Construction workers build a new home in Oakville, Ont., on April 14, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
OTTAWA – Canada’s housing market is slowing dramatically in terms of both sales and construction, dragging down economic growth and putting some 150,000 jobs at risk in coming years, a mortgage industry association warns in its spring report.
The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals stops short of calling the ongoing slide that began about nine months ago a crash, but chief executive Jim Murphy says policy-makers should stop trying to tighten lending rules further and start thinking about helping for first-time purchasers.
“They’ve gone enough in terms of regulatory changes and we’re seeing a real slowdown in the overall housing market. The federal government wanted that to happen, but the question is how much … and what is that impact on the overall economy,” Murphy said Wednesday.
“Some people thought the market would come back(this spring). Well it hasn’t come back. It is a definite trend.”
Murphy notes that his organization never agreed with the perception that Canada had a housing bubble problem, but any concerns on that front have been dispelled following last summer’s action by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the bank regulator to tighten mortgage rules and loan underwriting practices.
Since then, home resale activity has fallen 8.3 per cent and housing starts by 15 per cent. They are likely to fall further, the report