How’s this for an opener:
While the country’s new mortgage rules are meant to cool the market, eventually making housing more affordable, they’ve put home ownership out of reach for many prospective buyers.
Uh-huh. And what if the problem was that we put home ownership in reach of too many prospective buyers?
Those who don’t have a down payment of 20 per cent or more will be limited to a maximum amortization period of 25 years. Since 40 per cent of new mortgages last year were for 26 to 30 years, according to a survey from the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, real-estate neophytes might feel the change most dramatically.
WHoa! Did they just say 40 percent of new mortgages were over 25 year amorts?
Another new rule announced by Mr. Flaherty sets the maximum gross debt-service ratio – the percentage of household income being used to pay for housing – at 39 per cent so buyers will be less likely to take on mortgages that are too big and could leave them floundering if rates increase.
That’s the one that Andrea Benton, a 37-year-old entrepreneur in North Vancouver, B.C., said hits her family of four hardest.
“It means my total family income would have to be an exorbitant amount to afford an $800,000 house,” she said.
You mean you’re expected to have a high income to afford an $800,000 house?!?
Read all the comedy in the full article here.
..well that headline is a little misleading, you’ll still be able to get a 30 year mortgage but you better have a big down payment. No more 30 year mortgages for CMHC insured mortgages.
The country’s biggest banks were caught off guard on Wednesday night as the Department of Finance prepared to clamp down on mortgages by reducing the maximum amortization for a government-insured mortgage to 25 years from 30.
Ottawa will also limit the amount of equity that can be borrowed against a home to 80 per cent of the property’s value, down from 85 per cent.
The moves are designed to cool the housing market and limit the record levels of personal debt Canadians have amassed in recent years. Figures from Statistics Canada show the average ratio of debt-to-disposable income climbed to 152 per cent, up from 150.6 per cent at the end of 2011. A rise in interest rates or further job losses could put some households at financial risk, endangering any economic recovery.
So we’ve come circle with mortgages going from 25 year, cranked all the way up to US bubble style zero-down 40 year mortgages and then ramped back down over the last few years to a maximum 25 year amort. It will be very interesting to see what this does to some of Canadas overpriced markets.
Canadian Mortgage Trends is saying that changes to HELOC loan to value (LTV) limits are a done deal.
If so this means the maximum HELOC you’ll be able will move from 80% to 65% of the total value of the property.
Read the original link for full details. Many commenters there seem to think this is too big a move.
65% is too much of a leap all at once.
I can’t understand why OSFI doesn’t ratchet the LTV ratio down a little more slowly (i.e., 5% at at a time and sit back to observe the consequences).
As has been noted lately, the previous three sets of mortgage tightening guidelines have been gradually working their way through the credit markets effectively.
You can kill an ant with a hand grenade, but it usually makes a hell of a mess.
Canadian mortgage brokers are freaking out about new refinancing rules proposed by the OSFI which has taken over responsibility for the CMHC. Reasonably enough, they’re asking for clarification about proposals to require banks to check income and current house value before refinancing.
Currently, when mortgages come up for renewal, banks tend to focus on the borrower’s payment history. They rarely appraise the property again and not all banks will check the borrower’s updated income level, Mr. Murphy said.
“CAAMP strongly recommends that this concept be clarified so that mortgages continue to be renewed at maturity without requalification,” the industry association said in a submission to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).
“If not, homeowners who have been in compliance may no longer qualify. This would result in a number of properties hitting the market at the same time and thereby driving down prices.”
Such a phenomenon could add further fuel to a real estate downturn if lower house prices and higher unemployment caused more people to lose their homes upon renewal, Mr. Murphy suggested.
Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.
A new report issued by US ratings agency Fitch says that fast-rising home prices and record levels of household debt pose a threat to the credit portfolios of Canadian banks.
The agency examined the exposure of Canada’s six largest banks to mortgage risk and found that household debt fuelled by mortgage credit expansion in Canada is the largest threat to credit profiles.
“These are quite high levels of debt for households and the movement in house prices, we don’t think this is sustainable in the long term,” said report author Fabrice Toka, senior director at Fitch.
The six banks have a combined $730-billion in mortgage exposure and an additional $182-billion in home equity loan exposure, the report noted.
High unemployment or interest rate shock “could aversely affect the ability of leveraged homeowners to meet their mortgage obligations,” the report said.
The risk testing scenario looked at drops of 1 to 10% and sees CIBC and RBC as the most exposed to mortgage value risks. The debt-to-income ratio in Canada is currently higher than it was in pre-recession US, but Fitch points out that there are structural differences in our housing market.
Here’s the full article in the Financial Post.