The Federal Budget 2009 introduced several incentives to get Canadians spending by buying a first time home, or renovating the one they are already in. But do the government measures go far enough and will they help to spur the real estate market?
"At first blush, the incentives related to housing seem very positive," says 2008 OREA President, Gerry Weir. "However, we shouldn't expect to see these programs stimulate the economy immediately like people hope they will. We are probably looking at two to three years before we see the benefits."
As for the 2009 budget in general, Weir says the billions of dollars the government plans to spend on municipal infrastructure will likely do volumes to create jobs and boost the economy. "We are grateful that the government recognizes that the housing industry moves the economy, but we must have consumer confidence. Job creation and low interest rates will help people - especially first time buyers - feel secure about buying a home," says Weir. "Then we will also see people spending more on renovations."