New Mortgage Rules for Investment Property in Canada, Down Payment Requirements go up

Mortgage Rules & Down Payment Requirements in Canada for Investment Properties

We’ve been talking a lot recently about CMHC’s new changes to mortgage rules and down payment requirements for investment property.

This morning, the Globe and Mail has a story that I’ll file under “Ya Right…”

Limited impact seen from mortgage rules

Ottawa’s tougher mortgage rules have sparked a rush by home buyers to get in before the new regulations take effect Monday, but may not dampen the real estate market to the extent observers believed.

“When the new mortgage insurance rules were announced, there was widespread expectations that this could help to cool the market,” said Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Craig Alexander. “But the true impact should prove limited.”

The rule that was expected to have the most widespread effect says all borrowers must meet the qualification standards for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage, even if they choose a variable-rate mortgage or one with a shorter term.

Wrong – the change that will have the biggest impact is that CMHC is now making real estate investors put down 20% on an investment property (up from 5%), meaning many prospective property investors will not be able to get into the market.

The government designed the new rule to help ensure that homeowners will be able to afford their mortgage payments when interest rates rise. Rising rates are less of a worry for a borrower who has locked in for five years than for those who have three-year mortgages.

“The government stressed that the rule changes were not to deflate the housing market, but rather to diminish speculation and provide greater incentive for buyers to take mortgages that were less vulnerable to rising rates,” Mr. Alexander said.

I think the change to the mortgage rules that the article talks about – making people be able to afford the fixed rate 5 year payments, even if they take a variable rate mortgage – is a good thing for most people.

The bad changes are the ones not mentioned here.

As Robert McLister said this morning on twitter ““The true impact [of the new mortgage rules] should prove limited,” says TD. Yeah…as long as you don’t need a variable or rental mortgage.”

For questions about the current real estate market in Kitchener Waterloo, call me now at 519 772 4376, or email me at

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