The city has delayed publishing an analysis of what the federal “stress test” for lending means to potential home owners in Edmonton. However, the mayor has given Ottawa some suggestions on ways to improve the mortgage system.
The mortgage stress test, brought in because of red hot housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver, made it more difficult to get loans. At the same time, it cooled off the housing market in other locations like Edmonton.
That’s why Mayor Don Iveson passed along some ideas he hopes will justify new rules to loosen things up to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland when they met at city hall on Monday.
“My suggestion is that I think there’s an opportunity, if there’s some easing in the mortgage rules, to allow more borrowing for people who are maybe building a secondary suite, or pursuing energy efficiency in their home, or location efficiency so they can have one less car payment and maybe even handle a bigger mortgage that way.”
“I think the mortgage stress test is a very hot topic in Alberta, so we talked about that and some suggestions for how that could also stimulate the economy and at the same time support some of our housing and environmental goals,” he told reporters.
Freeland, after a pair of meetings in Calgary on Tuesday with Premier Jason Kenney and Mayor Naheed Nenshi, will move on to Grande Prairie on Wednesday, this time to meet with northern mayors.
A new publication date for Edmonton’s stress test study is the Feb. 24 meeting of council’s executive committee.