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Ottawa to Impose New Mortgage Guidelines

OttawaVarious media are reporting that the Finance Department will announce new mortgage qualification rules tomorrow (Tuesday, February 16).

Among the possible rumoured changes:

  • An “income test” to ensure people can make their variable-rate mortgage payments if rates rise (Canadian Press)
  • Higher down payments for “certain borrowers” (Globe)
  • Changes to investment property lending guidelines (CBC)
  • Restrictions on home refinancing (CBC)

Across-the-board down payment increases and a reduction in maximum amortization (from 35 to 30 years) are not part of tomorrow’s changes, according to CBC.

None of the above have been confirmed as of yet.

The government last made wide-ranging mortgage rule modifications in October 2008. (See: Goodbye to 100%/40-year Mortgages)

We’ll have full coverage of any announcements tomorrow. Flaherty has a press conference set for 8:00am ET.