Here’s how much house you’ll be able to buy with the new mortgage stress test
Canada’s banking regulator introduced new rules on Tuesday that extend the requirement for a mortgage stress test to all homebuyers, including those with larger down payments. Currently, the stress test applies only to mortgages with lower down payments and those with a term of less than five years.
Today, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) introduced a new minimum qualifying rate – a.k.a “stress test” – even for uninsured mortgages, which have down payments of 20 per cent or more.
The guidelines will take effect Jan. 1, 2018 and apply to new mortgages as well as mortgage renewal applications if borrowers switch lenders. Financial institutions won’t be obligated to apply the test at mortgage renewal for existing borrowers, although they may choose to do so, OSFI told Global News.
The new guidelines now require federally regulated financial institutions to vet applicants for uninsured mortgages by using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.89 per cent) or their contractual rate plus 2 percentage points.
What this means for your mortgage
Here’s how the rules would play out for a family with $100,000 in annual income, according to numbers provided by Ratehub.ca, a mortgage rates and credit cards comparisons site.
Let’s consider a first scenario in which the family is offered a mortgage rate of 2.83 per cent, which is more than two percentage points below the current Bank of Canada five-year benchmark of 4.89 per cent.
If they were to apply for a mortgage today, with 20 per cent down payment, a five-year fixed mortgage, and a 25-year amortization period, they would be able to afford a home worth $726,939.
If they were to apply for a mortgage on or after Jan. 1, they would be able to afford only $570,970, with a 20 per cent down payment.
Information kindly provided by Global News.