There’s been some crazy talk of late that our federal government should be looking at ways of cooling off the housing market.
Considering how much our federal government rakes in from the GST on new homes, they would only be shooting themselves in the foot by interfering with the housing market any more than they already have.
Now just try to imagine how crazy that talk would sound to Robert Jones, the chairman of the board of the U.S. National Association of Home Builders.
Jones was in Windsor earlier this week to bring U.S. greetings to the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. From there, he was off to New York for NAHB Board meetings, where the topic of conversation and debate will undoubtedly be what to do about the moribund state of housing in the U.S.
Frankly, Jones could not have been more envious of the great housing market we are enjoying in the GTA, let alone across Canada.
He reported that new home sales in the U.S. have fallen 75 per cent from the peak levels of five years ago. That means several hundred thousand less homes being built across the U.S.
Things picked up a bit for the U.S. builders earlier this year thanks to a federal tax credit that gave first time buyers $8,000 and move-up buyers $6,500 towards their new home purchase, but all programs like that do is borrow demand from the future, and that’s exactly what the U.S. builders are finding out since the tax credits expired a few months ago.
Here in Canada, our industry never asked for a bailout, in fact we have a standing policy of opposition to artificial stimulus of housing markets. The same hands-off policy would apply to artificial measures to cool the market.