Government ready to intervene on housing, but not now: Flaherty

Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:57pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government is watching the housing market closely and is ready to intervene if necessary, but is not about to do so now, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Tuesday, noting he saw indications of softening in the market.

He was speaking to reporters after the Bank of Canada said that very favorable credit conditions were expected to buttress housing activity, and that Canada's ratio of household debt to income was expected to rise further.

"I have frequent discussions With the bank leaders including some of them yesterday in Toronto. There's some indication of some softening in the housing market in Canada recently. We watch the housing market carefully and we are prepared to intervene if necessary. Having said that, we're not about to intervene in the housing market now," he said.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Writing by Randall Palmer; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)