Heapsestrin Real Estate Team

New Mortgage Qualification Rules

Written On October 18, 2017

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has adjusted the mortgage rules, with the most significant change being a new minimum qualifying rate or “stress test” for uninsured mortgages (eg. mortgages with 20% or more down payment).

Moving forward, the minimum qualifying rate will be determined by the greater of:

  1. The 5-yr benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada (currently 4.89%)
  2. The contract rate plus 2.0% (eg. if the contract rate is 3.24%, the qualifying rate would be 5.24%)

Your actual mortgage payment would still be based on the contract rate. However, the “stress test” would reduce the maximum purchase price or refinance amount that someone would qualify for. In the example above, they would need to qualify based on a rate of 5.24% instead of the contract rate of 3.24%.

Although details and timing are still being released by banks and lenders, some may start using the new rules as early as today. Again, it will be fully implemented by January 1, 2018. Since credit unions are provincially regulated and may not be impacted initially, some opportunities may arise within the next few months due to differences in implementation timings.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 416.424.4910 or email us at

For additional articles on the topic, we’ve included a few links below for your reference.

OSFI Official Announcement 
Globe and Mail Article
CBC Article
Financial Post Article
BNN Article

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