Liberal Housing Plan Will Criminalize Hardworking Families Says OREA

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The current scenario of bidding wars across Canada’s housing market is emblematic of a much larger issue. There is not enough supply of housing, says Ontario Real Estate Assocation. Pic: OREA

TORONTO: The Ontario Real Estate Association has said it is pleased to see housing affordability is a forefront election issue, with all three major federal parties putting ideas on the table to increase housing supply and bring the Canadian Dream of home ownership closer to reach.

However, one aspect of the Liberal Party of Canada’s housing plan would criminalize the ability for hardworking Canadians to choose how to sell their homes, by regulating real estate practices through the criminal code.

David Oikle, President, Ontario Real Estate Association, said: “You cannot fix Canada’s housing crisis by denying millions of hardworking families the choice of how to sell their home and by pitting homeowners against buyers. In fact, this plan would have the opposite effect – negatively impacting Canada’s housing market and making home ownership even more unaffordable.

“People are rightly concerned about rising home prices and the shortage of new listings and new homes, especially in Ontario. But the current landscape of bidding wars across Canada’s housing market is emblematic of a much larger issue: there is simply not enough supply to meet demand, leading to multiple offer situations and higher home prices.

“That is why it is so concerning that the Liberal Party of Canada believes that buying and selling homes — already one of the most stressful experiences in life — should be done entirely through auctions. If a senior or a family used the traditional offer process, they would be a criminal under the Liberal plan. Open auctions are the norm in Australia and New Zealand, where sellers overwhelmingly choose to use an open process. Auction fever creates a three-ring circus on front lawns, as hopeful buyers crowd in front of a home with a live auctioneer, or online, and the bidding begins.”

Daivd Oikle pointed out that far from making homes more affordable, auctions can drive prices higher, and dangerously push buyers to make rushed decisions involving tens of thousands of dollars in just minutes.

“Ontario’s families deserve choice. A home is a family’s greatest asset – it’s where they raise their families, how they save for retirement, and consumers should be in the driver’s seat when the time comes to sell,” he added.

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