January 2, 2018 6:53 pm
Updated: January 3, 2018 1:22 pm

Winnipeg housing industry getting ready for new mortgage rules

WATCH: New mortgage rules came into effect on Jan. 1. Will they effect Manitoba home buyers and owners? Global's Amber McGuckin reports.


New mortgage rules came into effect on January 1, 2018, keeping Winnipeg mortgage brokers busy.

“It was the busiest November and December,” mortgage professional with One Link Mortgage and Financial Shelley Stewart said. “People were certainly buying homes to beat the rules.”

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The new guidelines now require federally regulated financial institutions to vet applicants for uninsured mortgages by using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 4.99 per cent) or their contractual rate plus two percentage points.

READ MORE: Here’s how much house you’ll be able to buy with the new mortgage stress test

This means home buyers will qualify for 10 to 20 per cent less.

“That’s a huge, huge reduction in their borrowing power,” Peter Paley, mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres said. “If a family was qualified for up to $400,000 dollars before Dec. 31, now they’ll be qualified to $320,000.”

Paley said he’s already seen the impact.

“We already have two files on our desk where the people aren’t going to qualify and they’re going to be forced to seek out higher interest rate lending options,” he said.

MORE: Mortgage calculator: See how rising interest rates affect your payments

Stewart believes the people impacted by the changes will be surprised.

“Those people that are looking to maybe make changes to their mortgage, maybe refinance, maybe take out some equity in their home — and people who’s mortgages that are coming up for renewal,” Stewart said.

Winnipeg realtors like Glen J. Sytnyk aren’t worried about the impact on the Winnipeg housing market.

“I think a lot of people in Winnipeg don’t max out their budgets now. Most of my buyers they say I can afford to spend $500,000 but I am happy with a $400,000 home. I’m not going to my max. I’m not going as far as I can to spend money,” he said.

READ MORE: Failed the mortgage stress test? Alternative lenders await — at a price

Sytnyk said the changes unfairly target cities that don’t have hot housing markets such as Toronto and Vancouver.

“We’re local, we’re Winnipeg. We don’t have those problems of crazy pricing and a lot of foreign money coming in and pushing our market up, up and up,” he said.

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