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AVAILABLE EXPERT – Proposed changes to real estate policy

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Queen’s University real estate expert, John Andrew, is available to comment on proposals by Conservative Leader, Stephen Harper, to enact significant changes to housing policy and real estate lending if re-elected. Specifically, Dr. Andrew can comment on the increase to the RRSP withdrawal limit for first-time home buyers and the proposed study of foreign property ownership.

“While it may be appealing to voters struggling to buy their first home, it would have the effect of further stimulating already over-heated housing markets in many Canadian cities, especially Vancouver and Toronto,” says Dr. Andrew of the proposed RRSP withdrawal limit increase. “It’s a noteworthy reversal from several years of the Conservative government using fiscal measures to try and cool these markets under the previous Minister of Finance, the late Jim Flaherty, including shorter mortgage amortization periods and stricter rules on mortgage insurance.”

Regarding the proposed study of foreign property ownership – “It’s fascinating to consider the possibilities, such as requiring foreign owners to occupy their homes a certain percentage of the year, or to have a higher property tax rate for foreigners, or even the more draconian outright ban on foreign ownership,” Dr. Andrew says. “There are examples of each in other countries, but introducing any of them in Canada would be difficult, would have an enormous impact on real estate markets in some of Canada’s largest cities, and would be very risky politically.”

Dr. Andrew is available for radio and print media on Friday, August 14.

To arrange an interview, please contact Chris Armes at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston with HD-SDI. Please call for details.

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