Tag Archive: mortgage rules


Are 30-year Insured Amortizations Coming Back?

The Department of Finance is considering a return to 30-year amortizations on insured mortgages, says the Canadian Homebuilders’ Association (as reported in the Globe and Mail). The last time we had 30-year amortizations on insured mortgages was 2012. This time, however, only first-time buyers might get access to them. Called “extended amortizations,” 30-year payback periods are still available to anyone getting an...

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...

Ottawa Considering a Mortgage Stress Test for Private Lenders: Reuters

Imagine if 250,000 to 350,000+ homeowners couldn’t get cost-competitive private mortgages anymore. That’s the potential result if the feds impose a mortgage stress test on private borrowers. And they’re considering just that, according to a Reuters report today. At this point there are more questions than answers, like does this apply just to mortgage investment corporations (MICs) or to all...

Relaxed Mortgage Rules in 2019?

Those who think the government went overboard on mortgage tightening may have a glimmer of hope. In a presentation Wednesday, Stuart Levings, head of Canada’s largest private default insurer, Genworth Canada, said the company will be urging policy-makers to improve housing access, particularly for younger homeowners. “The only reason we think there’s an opportunity is because it’s an election year,”...

New Bank of Canada Data on Mortgage Risk

Stricter mortgage rules are working, suggests the Bank of Canada in this report today. Now if only we could take that report at face value. New Stats on Mortgagor Debt Loads If the government wanted to slow the market, it did. As of the second quarter, the number of new low-ratio mortgages fell 15% year-over-year after the feds implemented the...

Got a HELOC? Your Mortgage Options Are About to Shrink

For more than a year we’ve speculated that new rules will be adopted, making it tougher to qualify for a HELOC. How could they not? The Bank of Canada, OSFI, CMHC and FCAC have all been warning about HELOC risk for months. And when multiple government agencies target a financial product, change is a’comin. And now it’s here. Banks are...

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....

History of Mortgage Rule Changes in Canada

The most extraordinary thing about Canadian real estate is how it has shrugged off rule change after rule change in the mortgage market. We’ve seen governments impose over 60 housing finance restrictions since 2008, the height of the global credit crisis. These policies shrank the number of qualified borrowers and inflated mortgage costs. And yet, far from collapse, the market is...

OSFI and the Giant Gorilla

Mortgage growth in Canada is like King Kong—it’s hard to kill. You can riddle it with bullets (mortgage rules), but it just keeps beating its chest and roaring on. More than 60 mortgage rule tightenings later (including insurance and securitization fee increases) the question is, has Canada’s mortgage market finally been shot down? Nationally, average home prices are already down...