Rules, Rules, Rules

Here is the information regarding the new mortgage rules that will come into effect on April 19th of this year. The changes are not as bad as some were predicting. This is the summary, and the text is below.
Starting April 19th
1. Borrowers need to qualify using the 5 year fixed rate
2. Refinances maxed out at 90% LTV
3. 20% downpayment for mortgages tied to non-owner occupied properties bought for speculation.
Canada will bring in new mortgage rules to cool the country’s red-hot housing sector, but does not think the market has entered into bubble territory, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Tuesday.Concerned that new homebuyers may overextend themselves, the government said it is implementing three changes to mortgage rules that will help prevent the problems seen in other countries that helped trigger the global financial crisis.

“Today’s measures are part of a larger picture. We will continue to closely monitor developments in the housing sector in Canada,” said Flaherty at a news conference in Ottawa.

“There is no compelling evidence of a housing bubble, but we’re taking proactive, prudent, measured and cautious steps today to help prevent a housing bubble.”

Changes to Canada’s mortgage insurance guarantee framework that come into effect on April 19 include the requirement that borrowers will need to qualify for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage even if they go with a lower variable rate.

The government will also lower maximum amounts that can be withdrawn when borrowers refinancing mortgages. And it will require a minimum downpayment of 20 percent for insured mortgages tied to non-owner occupied properties bought for speculation.

Flaherty described the housing market as “healthy and stable” and said that the government’s early action can help prevent negative trends from happening.

The government has been concerned that some borrowers who are taking out variable-rate mortgages will struggle with their monthly payments when interest rates rise.

Bank of Montreal, while noting it did not believe the country faced a housing bubble, said it supported the government’s actions.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and I look forward to hearing from you.


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