Tag Archive: cmhc


Could CMHC Close This Stress Test Loophole?

It’s no secret. Many homebuyers that had no trouble qualifying for a mortgage in 2017 are finding big challenges in 2019. As we wrote yesterday, the government’s harsher mortgage “stress test” is a key reason why. The problem is exacerbated by the banks’ refusal to lower their posted 5-year fixed rates, despite a 55-basis-point drop in the 5-year bond yield...

What’s the Difference Between Insured, Insurable and Uninsured Mortgages?

Interested in a rock-bottom rate you see online? You better understand its stipulations. Mortgage rates aren’t as straightforward as people think. The competitiveness of your mortgage rate is heavily influenced by whether your mortgage can be default insured. In some cases—like when you’re buying a home with less than a 20% down payment—you have no choice. You must buy default...

More Details on the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

If you’ve been waiting for facts on the government’s new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), read on. In a statement today, CMHC said “we still have work to do” before bringing it to market. Among other things, it says: “…The proposal requires some government approvals.” “We also plan to consult with lenders and other industry participants to make sure the...

Could Ottawa Up the Default Insurance Limit?

If we were betting types, we’d wager that in coming months the government makes it possible to mortgage a 7-figure property with just a modest down payment. Here’s why. At the moment, there is a $1 million property value limit if you want to buy a house with less than 20% down and get the best mortgage rates. That price...

Watch the Bouncing Consumer Debt Ball

Canada’s debt situation appears to be getting better…if you just look at mortgages. But something sinister lurks beneath the surface. And it’s made of plastic. Indebtedness has been outgrowing incomes in this country, despite stringent new mortgage restrictions. Canadians now owe $1.78 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income, just under the record high. And we keep...

Mortgage Growth Ain’t What it Used To Be

And that’s as the government intended. Albeit, the deceleration may be less pronounced than some might expect, given all the recent headlines about this year’s real estate slowdown and mortgage rule tightening. Here are fresh new mortgage stats from CMHC and Equifax (as of second quarter of 2018): Number of active mortgages: 5.98 million This number essentially stayed the same...

The Flex Down Payment Mortgage. One to Avoid.

Oh the lengths people will go to squeeze themselves into a new property. That includes putting their home, or at least part of it, on their credit card. Yep, believe it or not, some lenders are more than happy to let you borrow your down payment off a credit card. And government-backed default insurers support it. That’s despite Ottawa outlawing...

CMHC Makes Life Easier for Self-Employed Borrowers

Roughly 1 in 6 Canadians work for themselves and CMHC wants to help them get a mortgage. Most notably, the nation’s largest default insurer is allowing lenders more flexibility when approving borrowers with less than two years of self-employment income. If you’re in business for yourself and getting a default-insured mortgage, CMHC has announced the following changes that may help...

Switch Tricks (For a Better Deal)

Big news here for people wanting to switch lenders with a mortgage that was previously refinanced. Until recently, it hasn’t been possible to move your mortgage to a new lender and get ultra-low default insured rates if you had previously refinanced that mortgage. That was due to an interpretation of the insurance rules implemented by the Department of Finance in 2016....

Advice Valued More than Ever

It used to be a lot easier to understand mortgages. But since January 2016 alone, we’ve seen: Minimum down payments increased to 10% for any portion of a mortgage above $500,000 Restrictions on refinancing Rates become much more dependent on: loan-to-value (because of changes to default insurance) amortization credit scores A stress test required for all insured mortgages, using the...