Starting June 1, 2021, Canadian homebuyers will be facing tougher mortgage stress test rules, that will decrease the buying power of most buyers. We caught up with Beth Thrall, mortgage specialist with Invis to have our questions answered about these revised rules. Find out whether your pre-approved rate will be impacted and get some further insight on how to prepare.
Q: Hi Beth, thanks so much for meeting with us! Can you tell us how Canada’s mortgage stress test will be changing?
A: When qualifying for a mortgage we use a higher interest rate to determine your affordability. This higher interest rate calculates a higher mortgage payment to ensure that down the road if mortgage rates increase, you will be able to still afford those payments. Current qualifying rate was 4.79% however it has been increased to 5.25%. This is not what your actual interest rate is. Just the rate we have to use while doing our calculations.
Q: How will this impact new home buyers looking to get a mortgage?
A: This will decrease homebuyers purchasing power by approximately 5%. So, let’s say you were pre-approved for a purchase price of $400,000, the amount you will be approved for will decrease to approximately $380,000.
Q: Will the changes impact someone who has already been pre-approved for a mortgage?
A: Yes, it will impact someone that already has a mortgage pre-approval in place. Anyone who has been pre-approved for a mortgage should definitely reach out to their mortgage expert to determine how it will affect their pre-approval.
Q: Should these changes impact a buyer’s decision to get pre-approved for a mortgage today?
A: No, it shouldn’t impact a buyer’s decision. These qualifying rates change every couple of years. In 2019 the qualifying rate was 5.34% then went down to 4.79%
Q: Do you have any mortgage advice on first steps for first time home buyers looking to get into the housing market?
A: Hands down, your first step when wanting to enter the housing market is to meet with a mortgage specialist. Get a plan designated to your financial goals to determine what you need to do to buy a home. Some people might already be ready for it but don’t realize it yet. Never be afraid to ask questions. Buying a house is your biggest investment and you want to be comfortable with your finances.
Beth Thrall is a licensed mortgage agent with Invis. She has been working in the financial industry for over 15 years specializing in mortgages for 10 of those years. Her number one goal is always to help clients realize their real estate goals with customized mortgage plan. Learn more at beththrall.com