Why the New Mortgage “Stress Test” Will Stress Homebuyers Out

Why the New Mortgage “Stress Test” Will Stress Homebuyers Out
Huge changes to mortgage rules were announced earlier this week.
 
Yet another “stress test” will be applied to mortgages.  Currently, homebuyers who have carefully saved a downpayment of 20% or more aren’t required to purchase mortgage default insurance. Only mortgage consumers with down payments less than 20% require default insurance which costs anywhere from 2.80% to 4.00% of their mortgage amount.
 
However, new rules on mortgage lending take effect next year and result in a major decrease in affordability for responsible homebuyers.  Uninsured mortgages now require the minimum qualifying rate to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada (presently 4.89%) or 2% (200 basis points) above the mortgage holder’s contracted mortgage rate.
 
So, what does this mean?  Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Bank of Canada Five-Year Benchmark Rate
The Bank of Canada’s current five-year benchmark is 4.89% which in this example is greater than the buyer’s mortgage rate plus 200 basis points.
 
A family with an annual income of $50,000, a 20% downpayment at a five-year fixed rate of 2.84% amortized over 25 years can currently purchase a home for $370,547.
 
Under new rules buyers will have to qualify at the five-year benchmark rate of 4.89% meaning that they will only be able to afford $301,095  A difference of $69,452.
2% Above Contracted Rate
 In a case where the mortgage rate, plus the 2% stress test is greater than the The Bank of Canada’s current five-year benchmark rate, here’s how the numbers add up.
 
A family with an annual income of $50,000, a 20% downpayment at a five-year fixed rate of 2.84% amortized over 25 years can currently purchase a home for $360,942.
 
Under new rules buyers will have to qualify at the five-year benchmark rate of 4.89% meaning that they will only be able to afford $295,350.  That’s a difference of $65,592.
If you’re in the market to buy a new home and would like to talk about these new mortgage rules and the current real estate market, we can be contacted at 519.586.7922 or stop by our office at 1019 Bay Street, Port Rowan.  All of our contact information is also available on our website at www.EriesEdge.com

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