New mortgage rules are stressing out the Canadian housing market

Rules meant to deleverage are delivering dangers of their own

Andrew Willis 14 February, 2019 | 6:00PM

Rules that require homeowners to prove they can handle interest rate hikes may be doing more harm than good, as they take a toll on supply and have some borrowers turning to unregulated lenders.

One year after the B-20 ‘stress tests’ that were put in place in January of last year, the reviews are mixed, with some saying the Canada-wide rules have unnecessarily cooled some regional markets, and overly constrained purchasers to the extent that a domino effect of supply constraints could ensue.

Under the new rules, borrowers must prove they can continue to make mortgage payments, even if interest rates rise by 2%, applying to those who are even able to make a 20% down payment.

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Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis  Andrew Willis is a content editor for Morningstar.ca.

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