The Ontario government is looking to do more for first-time home buyers and their savings. It is proposing new protections for home buyers that include expanding deposit insurance at Ontario credit unions, as well as a potential ‘cooling-off period’ for new home purchase agreements. These measures are part of the government’s plan to provide Ontarians with the very best in consumer protection when purchasing their new home. Let’s take a look!
Protecting home buyers
The Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, Kaleed Rasheed, discussed the Ontario government’s proposals earlier this week. “These new measures that we are consulting on will help us protect and inform home buyers and consumers alike, empowering Ontarians to keep making smarter, safer decisions when choosing this province as their forever-home.” The government is focusing on not only improving financing of a new home, but also how to improve the purchasing process.
‘Cooling-off period’ proposal
The province is currently consulting on a proposed ‘cooling-off period’ for buyers of new freehold homes. They will be seeking input from consumer groups, the public and the home-buying sector through the Ontario Regulatory Registry. The government is considering whether it should be mandatory for potential home buyers to receive legal advice before signing a purchase agreement for a new home. The government hopes this will provide home buyers the necessary time and tools when they buy a new home. If approved, as the purchaser you can rescind the purchase agreement within a specific timeframe. Builders will also be required to disclose the cooling-off period to you during negotiations.
Ontario’s housing starts to continue trending in the right direction. Last year, housing starts surpassed 96,000 – the second-highest number since 1988. These trends have continued into 2023.
Credit Union Members Protection
The Ontario government is also recommending that Ontario credit union members who are saving for a first home should also have protection. First Home Saving Accounts, introduced by the federal government, allow credit union members to save for the purchase of their first home. As part of their introduction to the marketplace, the Ontario government is looking to expand coverage under the Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund for First Home Savings Accounts at Ontario credit unions.
“Our government is helping first-time home buyers who use credit unions to save as they look to enter the marketplace,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “By expanding coverage under the Deposit Insurance Reserve Fund for First Home Savings Accounts of Ontario’s credit union members, we are providing more ways for people to save for their first home, while providing institutional safeguards for credit unions and caisses populaires.”
Building homes for Ontario residents
In addition to the new protections for home buyers, the Ontario government proposes to commit itself to getting 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years. The current housing market is challenging primarily for one reason – there are simply not enough homes available. Additionally, it is not just a big-city crisis. The housing supply shortage affects all Ontarians: rural, urban and suburban, north and south, young and old.
These home buyer protection initiatives are one facet of the government’s pledge to set the groundwork for growth in the housing industry by:
- Reducing the bureaucratic costs and red tape that are delaying construction and pushing home prices even higher
- Promoting building up near transit and reforming zoning to create more “gentle density”
- Protecting homebuyers and utilizing provincial lands to build more attainable homes
In conjunction with the More Homes, Built Faster Act of 2022, these measures intend to make the idea of home ownership possible. “Hard-working Ontarians can rest assured this government has their backs and is doing everything to protect them when making one of the biggest purchases of their lives – a new home,” says Minister Rasheed. “These new measures that we are consulting on will help us protect and inform home buyers and consumers alike, empowering Ontarians to keep making smarter, safer decisions when choosing this province as their forever-home.”
Final thoughts on new protections for home buyers
The dream of home ownership for many Canadians has become more impossible in the wake of the pandemic and rising interest rates. Both the Ontario and Federal government are attempting to aid its citizen with new proposals to kick start the housing market. Both the More Homes, Built Faster Act in Ontario, alongside the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), a $4 billion dollar initiative unveiled in March 2023, are designed to create new homeowner possibilities while offering protections not offered in the past. These new protections for home buyers will hopefully make homeownership accessible for Ontarians looking to enter the market.
If you are looking at reimagining homeownership, be sure to speak with our isure brokers to help you protect your largest investment with the right coverage for your needs.