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CityNews Ottawa – housing prices and the 2022 federal budget | April 8, 2022

Clinton Wilkins was on CityNews 101.1 with Sam Laprade to talk about the the 2022 federal budget and the new tax free savings for first-time home buyers. The two also discuss housing prices between Ottawa and Halifax, and if we are in a housing price bubble that will pop.

Clinton Wilkins & Sam Laprade : housing prices and the 2022 federal budget

2022 Federal Budget: $10 billion for affordable housing

Announcer : [00:00:02.08] The Sam Laprade show continues on CityNews 101.1 FM and 1310 AM.

Sam Laprade: [00:00:12.08] Well, it’s probably no surprise to you that housing and housing affordability is all over the news today. It certainly was a centrepiece in the 2022 federal budget. And there are many questions this morning about the $10 billion in new federal government spending aimed at making buying a home more affordable in this country.

And we’re very excited today to start a new segment here on the Sam La Pride Show with my next guest, Clinton Wilkins, who you may recognize, probably you do, from his new weekend show with host Todd Veinotte here on CityNews. Mortgage 101, which airs Saturday and Sunday morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and if you’re in the market, like I am, for a house right now then you definitely want to tune in to this show.

Could save you a lot of mortgage money, of course, on your mortgage, and especially in today’s volatile market. And Clinton has been kind enough, he’s a busy guy, but he’s going to be here with me right now to join us and talk a little bit about mortgages. Good afternoon, Clinton.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:01:15.38] Hi, Sam. How are you?

Buying a home has many moving components

Sam Laprade: [00:01:16.19] Great. I could talk about mortgages a lot because I am in the middle of doing this and it can be a bit stressful for people, Clinton.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:01:23.51] Oh, it can be extremely stressful. And I think that’s why it’s so important to seek the advice of an unbiased mortgage professional, especially in today’s market, Sam. You know, there’s a lot of moving parts and mortgage lending and mortgages are very complex. You know, there’s obviously many different features and benefits from mortgage to mortgage.

And the one thing that we really need to remember that when you buy a home, no matter what type of home it is, it’s usually the biggest purchase of your life. And for many households it’s also their biggest asset. And the mortgage, that’s obviously what we do every day, that’s usually the biggest debt. And for a lot of people, that can be very daunting because there are so many different choices.

You know, there’s a bank branch on every corner. And I think the one thing that really sets us apart as mortgage professionals is that we have access to a lot of different lenders. And obviously the more transactions we do, you know, we’re really able to provide that expert advice and everybody’s situation is different. And I think that’s why it’s just so, so interesting.

I’ve been in the industry for 16 years and, you know, here in my office we’ve done over $1 billion worth of mortgage lending in Halifax and on the East Coast, that’s a lot of mortgages. We’ve done over 4,000 transactions. So I think that we’ve certainly seen a lot. And I love educating consumers and that’s why I think it’s so exciting that Mortgage 101 is on CityNews Ottawa, and it’s kind of cool being on the AM dial as well. We only have an FM station here in Halifax.

The new tax free savings account for first-time home buyers

Sam Laprade: [00:02:52.25] Well, you’re all over the dial here in Ottawa and we’re very, very happy about that. Let’s talk about the federal budget. I think many of us were sort of looking towards this federal budget for some answers. Was there anything in the world of housing policy that really caught your eye, Clinton?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:03:07.04] I think the new tax free savings account for first-time home buyers is very, very interesting. Obviously, leading up to this budget, first-time home buyers could access the home buyers plan with the RRSP withdrawals.

So home buyers, if they’re a first-time home-buyer or had recently gone through a separation or divorce, could each individually take up to $35,000 of their RRSP for down payment and closing costs. With this new program, the tax free savings account that can be used for first-time home buyers, it’s planning on launching in 2023 and it will be another savings vehicle to kind of bolster up a household’s savings and obviously investments and hopefully you’ll make some tax free income on those savings and that’ll help with the down payment and closing costs.

And I can tell you, Sam, I know the market in Ottawa is really crazy. You know, the more money that you have for down payment and closing costs, obviously, that can make it or break it for, you know, for first-time home buyers to be able to get into the market.

Housing prices: Ottawa vs Halifax

Sam Laprade: [00:04:08.42] Oh, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I mean, Ottawa is, you know, the housing market’s one of the hottest in the country. We know a single family home just under $900,000. It’s hard to get my mind wrapped around that.

And, you know, we know many first-time buyers start looking for other markets because they’re more affordable and sometimes in different provinces. You know, your team is kind of unique because you have offices in both Ottawa and Halifax. How does that work, Clinton?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:04:34.37] We actually are only on the East Coast, our actual franchise, but Centum Financial Group has offices across the country. Each office is independently owned and operated. I can tell you, Sam, that obviously during these pandemic times, the last two years, it’s been really wild for housing.

Obviously, people are really rethinking the type of housing that is going to meet their needs. And we’re certainly seeing a lot of people relocating from Ontario and obviously specifically Ottawa to the East Coast because homeownership is maybe more realistic here. We still see the increases like the rest of the country has, but the East Coast is one of the last kind of areas of the country that homeownership is still very realistic for many households.

In Halifax, the average home price is somewhere around $500,000. So as you can imagine, there’s a big gap in terms of where the pricing was. And I used to think that Ottawa in Halifax, the pricing was very similar. And I think for years and years, you know, the markets were very stable. We would see 1 to 3 per cent growth and we would never kind of see this double digit increase that was very common, you know, in Toronto and Vancouver.

Are we in a housing price bubble that will pop?

Clinton Wilkins: [00:05:49.98] But obviously the last few years the market has changed. Obviously there are supply issues and I think there are supply issues in all areas of housing. It’s not just condos and single family homes and townhomes. I think there are supply issues with apartments and we know vacancies are kind of like at all time lows. So the Government certainly has heard that.

And I know it’s a priority on the Federal Government that they’re going to be working with the provinces and the municipalities to really get some of these shovels in the ground. There’s a lot of initiatives to increase the housing stock, and I think a lot of consumers are concerned that maybe there’s going to be a bubble that’s going to burst. And, you know, I don’t think that’s the reality.

I think the demand is just too high compared to what the supply is. I think it’s going to take many, many years for us to even be back kind of in a more balanced market.

Catch the Mortgage 101 show!

Sam Laprade: [00:06:41.94] It’s going to be so interesting. And you’re going to be joining me here regularly on the Sam LaPrade Show and I’m so happy about that. Mortgage 101 with Clinton Wilkins and Todd Veinotte airs on CityNews Ottawa Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m., just before an hour to give, which is my weekend show. So that’s a that’s a great couple of hours of programming there. Thank you so much, Clinton, for joining us today.

Clinton Wilkins: [00:07:04.02] Thanks for having me, Sam. And we’ll talk to you soon.

Sam Laprade: [00:07:06.42] Look forward to it. We’re going to continue our conversation regarding housing. We know once again it was a big, big topic in the 2022 federal budget. When we come back, we’re going to speak with the president of the Ontario Homebuilders Association. Stay with us, everyone, on CityNews.

Announcer : [00:07:23.98] Sam Laprade will be right back. On City News 101.1 FM and 1310 AM.