Tag Archive: mortgage regulation


Election Predictions: Housing Impacts

On Monday night we’ll find out which “housing affordability” plan Canada gets, be it from the Conservatives, Liberals or NDP. All three parties are promising to put homes more within reach, particularly for first-time buyers. Some of their proposals are merely vote bait; some are genuinely productive. After listening to the rhetoric for weeks on end, we’ve formulated three observations. Here are...

The Conservative Housing Affordability Plan – Is it the Answer?

The latest party trying to win your vote with promises of housing affordability is the Conservative Party of Canada. Here’s a quick look at what it announced Monday… Idea #1 Conservative Proposal: “Fix the mortgage stress test to ensure that first-time homebuyers aren’t unnecessarily prevented from accessing mortgages and work with OSFI to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals to...

Save for 4,635 Days. Beat the Stress Test

Just failed the mortgage stress test and feeling down? Have no fear, a bigger down payment will get you to the mortgage promised land. By putting down more, you’ll lower your debt ratio and be passing the stress test before you know it…as long as you don’t expect a mortgage before 2031. That’s how long stress test flunkies would have...

Rate Nuggets: The Nosedive in Refinancing

Mortgage regulation and higher rates changed the game in 2018, lowering the amounts borrowers could qualify for by up to 20% and reducing the incentive to renegotiate for a better rate. That had clear implications for refi volumes. Using Teranet‘s 2018 Ontario data as a guide, the number of borrowers: refinancing with their existing lender plunged 36% (vs 2017) switching their...

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...

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Fail

Summary: The CMHC Shared Equity Mortgage comes up short, based on the info the government has graced us with thus far. Some of these projections may change, however, as the government releases more information on the programs. OK, someone please tell us our numbers¹ are wrong, because from where we sit the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) just announced by...

Ottawa’s Mortgage Stress Test. Who Do We Believe?

The two top policy-makers in Canada’s mortgage market don’t seem to be on the same page—at least not with what they’re feeding the public about the mortgage “stress test.” Observe these two statements about why the stress test—which is part of banking regulator OSFI’s contentious “Guideline B-20″—was implemented: Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance: “…We wanted to make sure that [home]...

New Regulation Could Boost Mortgage Rates

So many factors can cause you to pay a higher mortgage rate. One of the least transparent is government regulation. Since 2008, Ottawa has layered mortgage policy upon mortgage policy, thereby boosting lender funding costs an estimated 25-50+ basis points depending on lender and mortgage type. These changes include the removal of insurability on various loan types (default-insured mortgages are...

OSFI’s Stress Test, Part II – Sensible Fine-tuning

In a speech last week, Canada’s banking regulator brushed off the “unintended consequences” of its controversial mortgage stress test with one sententious comment: “…The answer to this important problem…cannot be more consumer debt, fuelled by lower underwriting standards.” — OSFI Assistant Superintendent Carolyn Rogers She could not have been more right. More slack in “underwriting standards” was the last thing...

OSFI’s Stress Test – How We Got Here – Part I

Never before has Canada’s banking regulator received so much pushback on a mortgage rule. OSFI has felt such heat from its controversial “B-20” stress test, that it’s started a campaign to defend its position—e.g., this speech last Tuesday (video) and this one last Thursday. From that and from what we know of regulators’ non-public comments, one thing appears clear. The government has...