Cooling housing market shows stricter mortgage rules working: Flaherty

jim-flahertyThe latest numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board show that although sales were down in volume by 16% as compared to last November, the average price was up by 1.6%. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is taking credit for a more moderate market, saying it’s the changes to mortgage rules that have slowed sales down while some critics are still pointing to the dreaded Land Transfer Tax as having an adverse effect. Here’s the article from the Financial Post:

Canada’s finance minister is taking credit for the recent cooling in the hot housing market, saying a slowdown now is better than a crash later.

Jim Flaherty was reacting to the sudden loss of momentum in the Canadian economy and the role housing, with the sector contracting 3.5% annualized in the third quarter, is playing.

The government moved for the fourth time in as many years to tighten mortgage availability in July, resulting in a sharp reduction in housing activity, resales and even lower prices in some markets.

“The housing market has softened somewhat in part because of steps that I’ve taken and I’m happy about that,” he said.

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