Government "very focused" on monitoring housing market: Finance Minister

  3/6/2017 |   SHARE
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The government remains “very focused” on monitoring the Canadian housing market, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said. His remarks come amid rising prices in Toronto and Vancouver. 

“We continue to be very focused on thinking about how we can manage what is peoples’ most significant investment. And we do watch the level of indebtedness, in particular around housing,” said Morneau, as reported by The Globe and Mail. He spoke before Columbia University students during a visit to New York on Tuesday ahead of a Wednesday stop in Washington.

Morneau said that Canada has “strong underlying markets” in the places where the housing markets have posted a strong performance, such as Toronto and Vancouver. 

“So in Toronto and Vancouver, unemployment is lower in those two places than it is in some other places. Incomes are higher. The economy is doing better. So there are underlying reasons for the housing markets to do better and we’ll continue to monitor, to work with provinces and municipalities who have an important role to play here to manage what we see [as] a challenge, but not one that isn’t manageable.”

Morneau’s remarks echo those he made in October last year, after the federal government introduced several regulatory revisions. He assured that the ministry will remain watchful of how the market will evolve under the new conditions.

“We will remain on top of this because we know this is a very important risk to our economy,” Morneau said, as quoted by Reuters. 
Revisions included the tightening of mortgage rules, the closing of a loophole on home sales, and the implementation of a new risk-sharing model for major lenders.

Morneau said last January that the federal government is not currently contemplating any new mortgage rules at the moment. 
“We don’t have any measures under consideration at this stage, but we will continue to monitor to ensure that the housing market is stable and that people are protected in their important investment.” 

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