Canada posted year-over-year residential price gains in 2017 across most regions. Now in 2018, many housing markets could see reduced purchasing power resulting from the new OFSI mortgage rules that took effect on January 1.
What the what???
Last October, Canada’s federal financial regulator announced that all uninsured mortgage borrowers (those with a down payment of 20 per cent or more) must now qualify against the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.99 per cent), or at their contractual mortgage rate, plus two per cent. This, in an effort to ensure borrowers can service their mortgage debt when interest rates rise – which experts predict will happen this year.
The new mortgage rules follow a similar stress test that was applied to insured mortgages with less than 20-per-cent down payment, in October 2016.
The new mortgage qualification rules are expected to have the greatest impact on first-time homebuyers in Victoria, Greater Vancouver, Kelowna, North Bay, London-St. Thomas, Barrie, Hamilton-Burlington, Greater Toronto Area, Durham, Kingston, Ottawa, Halifax and St. John’s.
What does this mean for you?
Well, it’s an opportunity for you to educate homebuyers and show them what you know. You can use the interactive stress test map below during a meeting with clients to show them that you’re a leader in the industry and know Canadian markets.
Guide clients in the right direction toward moving into their ideal home by informing them of the new mortgage rules. We’ve always said agents wear many hats and using the stress test map with clients shows that you’re not only a top-notch agent, but that you’re also a real estate educator and have their best interest in mind.
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