New Mortgage Standards to Begin April 19th.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - Globe an Mail Report on Business
• A minimum down payment of 20 per cent will be required for government-backed insurance on properties not lived in by their owners, up from 5 per cent. “This measure is likely aimed at tempering speculative buying of real estate by reducing the leverage available to buyers,” Mr. Alexander said. “It will, however, also impact individuals buying real estate for investment purposes more generally, including those looking for rental properties. In rough ballpark terms, the change might impact about 5 per cent to 15 per cent of new mortgage originations.”
Scotia Capital economist Derek Holt, noting that the market alone would have cooled things down, said the biggest move that could affect prices is the one on qualifying, which would kick out many potential buyers. “The mortgage rule changes raise the odds of lower house prices into the back half of 2010 and into 2011,” Mr. Holt said. “… I think house prices were going to fall because of market mechanisms, but today's rule changes add further pressure in that regard.”
Eric Lascelles, TD Securities chief economics and rates strategist, projected “some extreme volatility” in the housing market in the short term as home buyers rush to beat the April 19 date. After that, he said, activity could “crater” because so many buyers moved up their purchases. Over all, Mr. Lascelles said, “the economic implications of this rule change are unlikely to be severe, and we expect the housing market to slow its ascent without crashing back down to earth.”