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How The New Mortgage Rules Affect House Prices

Todays Date: December 15, 2018

On Tuesday February 16th, 2010, Canada’s Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, announced that the Government will be changing Canada’s mortgage regulations in effort to prevent potential mortgage borrowers from acquiring mortgages that they cannot afford. Due to the increasing concerns about consumers being attracted to low mortgage interest rates, especially borrowers who are securing variable-rate mortgages starting at very low levels, there are worries that many mortgage holders may not be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments which could result in a housing bubble. Flaherty announced that the Government will be implementing tougher restrictions regarding how banks go about approving mortgages. For people looking to purchase a new home, it is important to understand how the government mandated mortgage rules will affect home prices.

The goal of the new mortgage rules is to make sure borrowers are not taking on more debt that they can manage. Many experts believe that in the next couple of years home prices are likely to decrease thereby increasing the need for stricter mortgage regulations. Many economists note that the recent low home prices and low mortgage rates are eventually going to increase, but these new rules basically ensure the likelihood that the lower house prices will continue into 2011. In the coming weeks, it is expected that many people will hurry to acquire a mortgage before the rules kick in as the date the regulations come into effect is April 19th, 2010. After that, the housing boom will likely slow down as the market adjusts.

If you are in the market for a new home, this may be a good time to acquire a mortgage. It is important to remember that interest rates will eventually increase so you should create a long term financially stable mortgage repayment plan, especially if you have an adjustable interest rate. For instance, if you get an adjustable mortgage rate at 2% and in two years it rises to about 5.5%, this will cause a drastic increase in your monthly mortgage repayments. If possible, many real estate experts recommend a fixed rate mortgage with a larger down payment so that you will not be negatively impacted when rates increase.

The recent economic crisis has resulted in Government intervention in order to make sure the housing market does not crash. As the housing market stabilizes, home prices will eventually begin to rise. As well, as the economy rebounds, the current low prices being offered on many homes throughout Canada will not last. If you plan to purchase a home after April 19th 2010, it may be more difficulty to secure a mortgage as you will have to meet criteria that includes: a minimum down payment of 20 per cent will be mandatory for government-backed insurance property, the maximum you will be able to withdraw when refinancing your mortgage will be 90 per cent of the property’s value, and you will have to meet specific qualifying criteria for a five-year fixed rate mortgage.

If you have a secure job, good credit rating, and can afford the monthly mortgage repayments even when interest rates rise, this may be a good time to purchase a new home before the new mortgage rules become compulsory.

Analysts are expecting mortgage rates to rise and GIC rates to drop within the upcoming year. Read more about it on our blog.

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