On October 17th, the federal government set up new guidelines for qualifying for a mortgage here in Canada. The federal government says it’s responding to concerns that sharp increases in housing prices in Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere could increase defaults in the future, should historically low interest rates finally start to climb.
One of the key changes is that homeowners will be subject to a mortgage rate stress test beginning Oct. 17. It does not matter what size of down payment they have. Before now, those with less than a 20 per cent down payment were required to pass a stress test and have mortgage insurance backed by the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The test measures whether the buyer could still afford to make payments if mortgage rates rose to the Bank of Canada’s posted five-year fixed mortgage rate.
That rate is usually significantly higher than what a buyer can negotiate with banks or other lenders. For instance, TD has a five-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.59 per cent, while the Bank of Canada’s rate is 4.64 per cent.
The stress test also sets a ceiling of no more than 39 per cent of household income being necessary to cover home-carrying costs such as mortgage payments, heat and taxes.
It has been said that Regulators are under intense pressure to do something because home prices are climbing fast and may be over-valued in some markets. They want to avoid any kind of catastrophe on their watch..
So is this a good thing for Canadian housing? Many markets outside of the larger centers are also experiencing a sharp increase in house prices. Here in Kitchener Waterloo, the demand for medium priced homes is literally a bidding war with many homes selling for far more than i think they should be. That being said, prices are a reflection of supply and demand so that current pricing is a direct result of many more buyers than sellers.
The new rules also mean that, beginning this tax year, all home sales must be reported to the Canada Revenue Agency. The gains from sales of primary residences will remain tax-free, but the government is aiming to block foreign buyers from purchasing and flipping homes while falsely claiming the primary residence exemption from capital gains tax.
It remains to be seen whether these steps will tighten the current market, expand or collapse it. My only advice is that if you are thinking of selling your home this fall that you take advantage of the extremely low inventory levels that we have in Waterloo region.
Give me a call and we can grab a coffee and discuss the best solution for you and your family. You can reach me at 519-497-4646 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day
October 26, 2016 | Categories: Buyers | Tags: Buyers, cambridge, CMHC, home buying, home selling, house prices, mortgage, mortgage rules, remax, rules, Sellers, twin city, waterloo region | Leave a comment