Ottawa doing ‘deep dive’ into country’s housing markets, Morneau says

The federal government is conducting an in-depth examination of the country's real estate markets as it decides whether more changes are needed to rein in escalating prices or curb the impact of foreign investment on housing affordability, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday.

TORONTO — The federal government is conducting an in-depth examination of the country’s real estate markets as it decides whether more changes are needed to rein in escalating prices or curb the impact of foreign investment on housing affordability, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re making sure that we have a deep dive into the information to ensure that any considerations we have for change are evidence-based,” Morneau said after giving a speech at an economic conference in Toronto.

“Our ongoing goal is to ensure that we understand the market in all of its complexity, that we consider all the evidence to determine what measures are necessary, on an ongoing basis, to ensure that Canadians have the ability to buy homes.”

The government has faced growing calls from researchers, bankers and other housing sector observers in recent days to address soaring prices and mounting household debt, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver.

Last week, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report in which it urged Ottawa to act.

Morneau did not specify Wednesday what sort of changes the government was considering or how soon it may implement any measures it may decide to undertake.

The government is looking at a number of factors affecting the real estate industry, such as population growth, the labour market and the supply of homes, Morneau said.

Ottawa is also examining whether there is any evidence to support the notion held by some that foreign buyers are driving up home prices, Morneau said.

“We’re going to remain focused on this, using real evidence to think about what are the measures that we can do in order to ensure that this market stays healthy for Canadians,” Morneau said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later addressed The Economist’s Canada Summit, reiterating his opposition to Britain leaving the European Union and his pitch for automakers to invest in Canadian manufacturing facilities.

The summit is aimed at identifying the key trends that are reshaping Canada’s role in the global economy while delving into ways the country can become more competitive.

Topics of discussion included the housing boom and consumer debt, whether a financial bubble is ready to burst and how to reinvent the energy sector as it deals with lower oil prices.

Just Posted

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

Freedom of expression or personal attack? Nurse appeals fine for Facebook post

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s highest court is to decide what’s next for a… Continue reading

RCMP commissioner says info in FBI probe led to arrest of intelligence director

OTTAWA — An RCMP employee charged with trying to disclose secret information… Continue reading

NDP’s Singh seeks urban support with housing billions, avoids deficit questions

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh continued his push to win progressive votes on… Continue reading

B.C. won’t use court ruling as tactic in pipeline battle: environment minister

VANCOUVER — Environment Minister George Heyman says British Columbia can’t stop the… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

N.S. senior whose birthday card request drew international response dies

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia widower who received thousands of birthday… Continue reading

Freedom of expression or personal attack? Nurse appeals fine for Facebook post

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s highest court is to decide what’s next for a… Continue reading

RCMP commissioner says info in FBI probe led to arrest of intelligence director

OTTAWA — An RCMP employee charged with trying to disclose secret information… Continue reading

NDP’s Singh seeks urban support with housing billions, avoids deficit questions

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh continued his push to win progressive votes on… Continue reading

B.C. won’t use court ruling as tactic in pipeline battle: environment minister

VANCOUVER — Environment Minister George Heyman says British Columbia can’t stop the… Continue reading

Parties spar over what is best for parental benefits

OTTAWA — Is it better to be paid in credit or with… Continue reading

Alberta spends $3M for 30 nurse practitioners for remote, specialized areas

Province spends $3M for 30 nurse practitioners for remote, specialized areas EDMONTON… Continue reading

Most Read