Prospective homebuyers worried about new mortgage rules
Published Monday, October 17, 2016 6:05PM CST
Last Updated Monday, October 17, 2016 6:27PM CST
New mortgage rules took effect Monday across Canada which could drastically change the type of home you’re eligible to buy.
It's an effort to cool the hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, but people right across the country, including Winnipeg, must also play by the new rules.
Some prospective buyers are concerned it’s just another hurdle to clear when purchasing a home.
For a young parent, like Samantha Harris, the process of borrowing money to buy her family's first home is already daunting.
The new mortgage rules implemented by the federal government have made her goal of becoming a homeowner more complicated.
"It's stressful enough having all these barriers to get through,” said Harris. “Adding more barriers definitely makes it more stressful than helping people out to get houses."
All buyers seeking insured mortgages must now pass what's called a "stress test" to prove they can take on higher monthly payments if interest rates rise.
According to Winnipeg-based One Link Mortgage & Financial, a buyer eligible for a $300,000 mortgage before Oct. 17 on a five-year fixed rate, with a five per cent down payment will only qualify for a $237,000 mortgage under the new rules.
One Link mortgage broker, Laurie Foster, scrambled to get deals done for clients before the deadline but those still on the fence will be subject to the new rules.
"If you had your eye on a house and you haven't pulled the trigger yet, you may no longer qualify to buy that house," said Foster.
While it's difficult to know exactly what this will mean for the Winnipeg market, Royal LePage realtor Nicole Hacault expects more affordable homes will become a hotter commodity because that's what more people will be eligible to buy.
"For most of my clients their world just changed,” said Hacault. “Everybody's kind of been shifted into a different price range and so we may see things slow down a little bit."
Harris is prepared to lower her expectations and wait until the time is right to buy her first home.
"With hard work and really buckling down on what our goals are, it's easier to do but it's a matter of getting those goals and following them."