How OMDREB is working with the government to make the home buying experience better for REALTORS® and their clients

  • October 7, 2020
  • John Rich

For more than 30 years, REALTORS® have advocated for policies encouraging responsible homeownership. We have regularly met with Parliamentarians to discuss their local housing markets and policies that promote a vibrant and sustainable real estate industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a safe place to call home. Today, REALTORS® are prioritizing the housing needs of Canada’s most vulnerable populations while also ensuring the economy gets up and running.

Above all, REALTORS® will always focus on helping Canadians find homes.

Many sectors of our economy have suffered disproportionately, industries like travel and hospitality. On the other hand, online shopping and package delivery are seeing record growth. Where does housing fit in? Consider how much more time

we have all been spending at home. It has become our office, our gym and our kids’ school.

Prior to COVID-19, the story for many Canadian housing markets in 2020 was going to be a historic lack of available supply in relation to demand. Now with the pandemic, even more households are not listing properties for sale.

As a result, the overall inventory of homes for sale across all Canadian MLS® Systems has fallen from a 14-year low at the start of 2020 to a 16-year low now.

In concert with OREA and CREA, The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board has been advocating for a number of different initiatives that will put OMDREB REALTORS® at the forefront of necessary and good change for our industry.

OMDREB's Government Relations Committee has met with government officials that work in our jurisdiction, and outlined recommendations to them that will help alleviate the issues REALTORS® and their clients are currently facing.

Here is what we've been working on with them, since the beginning of 2020:

  1. Place conditions on federal infrastructure funding to encourage the creation of new housing supply.
  2. Increase the Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to $2,500 to better reflect current closing costs associated with home purchases.
  3. Review the mortgage stress test to ensure the realities of local real estate markets are taken into consideration and remove the test from mortgage renewals.
  4. Including clauses in Infrastructure Bilateral Agreements with provincial and territorial partners encouraging the creation of additional housing.
  5. The creation of a significant stimulus package to create additional housing stock.
  6. Implement a green renovation program incentivizing homeowners to make energy efficient retrofits to their homes. It is recommended a $40,000 interest-free loan be the policy vehicle to implement this initiative.
  7. Allowing PRECs
  8. REBBA Reform & the Trust In Real Estate Services Act
  9. Land Transfer Tax Holiday
  10. Home Renovation Tax Credit
  11. Allowing Opportunity Zones

We have been very fortunate that some of our advocacy efforts, including certain points on the above list, have seen direct implementation into government policy - but there is more work to be done!

OMDREB and its Government Relations Committee looks forward to further meetings with Parliamentarians, local officials, and federal officials in order to better the lives of REALTORS® and their clients.

A special thank you to MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, MP Pam Damoff, and MP Adam van Koeverden for taking the time to meet with us to discuss these issues and putting their support forward!