Proposed changes to mortgage qualifications are anticipated to take effect in January 2018.
How you may be affected?
- The major change is the introduction of the Federal Government's required new 'mortgage stress test'. Essentially all borrowers, regardless of how much down payment, would have to qualify at a rate 2% above the contract rate. As of today that rate is 5.34% for a 5 year fixed term. On average it is anticipated that borrowers will qualify for 25% less than what you would today.
- As well, another interest rate hike is expected before the end of this year and likely one or two more next year.
What can you do if you are thinking of making a move or borrowing against your equity?
Mortgage professionals are advising you to get a preapproved mortgage and lines of credit before year end (or the next interest rate increase) even if you don't plan on using the funds immediately. The approval is valid for 120 days.