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April 12, 2017

Housing Market Responses to Rising Interest Rates

Completed by:
Will Dunning Inc.

Canadian Home Builders’ Association

March 31, 2017

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December 02, 2016

The dashboard compiles the Alberta economy's most important indicators for businesses in one place. Get a quick snapshot of our current economic state or explore each indicator in more detail.

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November 22, 2016

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November 17, 2016

Built Green Canada Renovation Program Pilot Launch

Coinciding with Renovation Month, the end of October marked Built Green Canada’s launch of its Renovation Program Pilot.

The changes announced last month surrounding Canada’s mortgage rules puts new limits on how much some buyers can afford. The impact of the new mortgage rules are indeterminate at this time; however, it is expected that lower priced homes will get a greater amount of interest, as buyers who could previously afford a more expensive home will be looking at a more affordably priced home, while others who may have been considering buying up will remain in the home they’re in and focus on upgrades.

This underscores the reality of Canada’s housing stock: new housing represents less than two per cent of the overall housing stock across the country. As Canadians and all orders of government are increasingly focused on the environmental agenda, there is huge opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the economy through energy-efficient retrofits of older homes in Canada. A study by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) revealed that older homes are the source of exponentially more greenhouse gas emissions than newer homes.

“The BUILT GREEN® Renovation Program contemplates the scale of the renovation and its ability to impact greater energy efficiency,” says executive director Jenifer Christenson. “Should the renovation be small in scope, the impact is more difficult to quantify.” This has been an important consideration at this developmental phase, and the certification is based on the performance improvement of the home at the time of completion as compared to the home’s original performance.

There are three renovation types: whole house, renovation, and small home improvements. Each takes a holistic approach to sustainable building and maintains the same seven categories as Built Green’s Single Family and High Density programs: energy efficiency, materials & method, indoor air quality, ventilation, waste management, water conservation and business practices.  

 My House Design/Build Team Ltd., a long-time builder with Built Green Canada, completed the first renovation under this pilot. “The renovation program offers the consistent, clear approach Built Green’s other programs have in terms of process, priority areas, and options available. We’re happy to be participating and offering input into the program at this stage,” says Mark Nowotny of My House Design/Build Team Ltd. Meanwhile, new renovator with Built Green Canada, A Cut Above Living, is nearing completion of their renovation under this pilot.

Built Green Canada welcomes industry’s continued input and trials during this pilot phase. The program is complementary to the leadership efforts of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s and CMHC’s “Get it in Writing” initiative.


For further information please contact the Built Green Canada office. 

November 17, 2016

Automatic Partial Mortgage Loan Insurancefor BUILT GREEN® Homes

All homes certified through Built Green Canada are automatically eligible for a partial mortgage loan insurance premium refund through both Genworth Canada and the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Both CMHC’s and Genworth’s partial mortgage loan insurance refund is a savings of 15% for those with a BUILT GREEN® certified home. To take advantage of this offer, please contact our office to obtain your Building Certificate of Authenticity from Built Green Canada. Note: for the first time, BUILT GREEN® certified homes in and of themselves are eligible for these rebates (i.e. rebates don’t hinge on the ERS score).


For more information and links to both offers:

November 14, 2016

EDMONTON, November 14, 2016 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Edmonton Region (CHBA-ER) is pleased to introduce Colin Wiebe as their 45th President. Colin succeeds Steve Ruggiero, President of Kimberley Homes Group. 

Colin Wiebe has been an integral member of the CHBA-ER over the past 5 years.  A law school graduate from the University of Kent in Canterbury, he serves on both the Edmonton Region and Alberta CHBA boards, including most recently as the Vice President, Edmonton Region.

As a member of the All Weather Windows ownership group, Colin has advanced through the company in a variety of operational and leadership positions during his 16 years with the company. Launched in 1978 by a group of Edmonton entrepreneurs, All Weather Windows has 9 branches across Canada, is a member of the CHBA on a national level and a member of 18 other local home builder’s associations nationwide.

“Our Association is about to face the most stringent year of regulation in modern time, not only in Edmonton, not only in Alberta, but nationally. The question becomes what will we do in 2017 to address this? Advocacy is a key strategic imperative for 2017. This will be one of our major goals to leverage the relationships that we re-built over the past 4 years to achieve results for our industry, association, and ultimately, our members.” said the newly elected CHBA-ER President at the recent Association annual general meeting. 

Looking ahead, Colin said collaboration has and will continue to be key within the industry when facing a number of challenges in the coming year. 

Established in 1954, The Canadian Home Builders' Association - Edmonton Region (CHBA - ER) is a not-for-profit organization representing 525 member companies, including new home builders, renovators, land developers, trades, manufacturers, suppliers, financial institutions and a host of allied professionals. 

For more information please contact:

Sharon Copithorne
Chief Executive Officer
(780) 425-1020 ext 223 

October 19, 2016

CHBA’s position is that the recent tightening of mortgage insurance rules announced by Minister Morneau on October 3rd go too far, and will adversely impact markets that are already challenged, and first-time homebuyers working hard to achieve home ownership.  In both cases, according to many commentators, this has the potential to increase risks to market stability and further dampen economic recovery. 

Continue Reading. 


October 11, 2016

On October 3, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a series of proposed changes to federal policies and legislation affecting mortgage loan insurance, mortgage lending rules, and tax treatment of capital gains from principal residences for foreign buyers:  

  • standardizing mortgage insurance eligibility criteria for high- and low-ratio insured mortgages, including a mortgage rate stress test;
  • closing loopholes surrounding the capital gains tax exemption on the sale of a principal residence; and,
  • consulting on the distribution of risk in the housing finance system.

CHBA advocates that the prime objective of federal housing policy should be to support stability and predictability in Canada’s housing markets and housing finance system. CHBA has undertaken analysis of the mortgage rate stress test and is very concerned about the impacts resultant reduced access to mortgages will have on potential first-time home buyers. CHBA is also concerned about the impacts these rules will have on slower markets.

Continue reading


October 06, 2016

From:    Kevin Lee, CEO
               CHBA National 

On Monday, October 3, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a series of proposed changes to federal policies and legislation affecting mortgage loan insurance, mortgage lending rules, and tax treatment of capital gains from principal residences for foreign buyers.  As details on the mortgage insurance and lending rules continue to emerge and there has been time to assess them, CHBA is very concerned about the impacts on potential homebuyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, and in turn on our industry and the economy.


Of particular concern is the “stress test” whereby all insured homebuyers must qualify for a mortgage at the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year fixed posted rate, which is significantly higher than actual rates.  This will dramatically reduce the mortgage amounts available to buyers, locking out many first-time buyers trying to buy entry-level units, and potentially disqualifying buyers who have already qualified but not yet secured their mortgage. Conventional mortgages will also be affected by new portfolio insurance rules, and this will further impact the market, although the extent of these impacts remains unclear (CHBA is  vigorously pursuing more definitive information from the Finance Department).  CHBA commissioned a study on the impacts of the measures that estimates that one-third to one-quarter of first-time buyers could be removed from the market, and that the measures overall will reduce housing activity by 6 to 10 percent.  This is obviously a serious concern.


Accordingly, CHBA has contacted the following in Federal Government leadership to raise our issues and serious concerns, and will follow up accordingly:

·         Minister of Finance (Morneau)

·         Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Champagne)

·         Minster responsible for housing and CMHC (Duclos)

·         President and CEO of CMHC (Siddall)

·         Chair of the Parlimentary Finance Committee (Easter)


We have been asked if members should contact local MPs: yes, they should certainly feel free to do so to express their concerns.  Hearing directly from constituents about concerns of this nature can be very effective in helping MPs convey the magnitude of concern around this type of measure.  


CHBA has also engaged several other national organizations with interest in preserving the dream of homeownership for Canadians (like the Canadian Real Estate Association, Genworth, Canada Guaranty, and Mortgage Professionals Canada) about collaborating to address this issue and others emerging around homeownership.