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Jul 12, 2017

The Bank of Canada raised interest rates in July for the first time in seven years, increasing the overnight lending rate to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent previously.


Jul 6, 2017

The more immediate change was unveiled in July, when Canada’s banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), unveiled a proposed new rule change that would impact a broad swath of Canadian home buyers.
OSFI said it plans to require home buyers who do not need mortgage insurance – those with down payments greater than 20 per cent of the purchase price – to prove they could still afford their mortgages if interest rates were two percentage points higher than the rate they are offered by their bank.
The current five-year fixed rate is based on the most common rate for that term at the six major banks. It currently sits at 4.64 per cent, about 200 basis points higher than actual rates — effectively meaning consumers must qualify based on the ability to make a much higher monthly payment. That ultimately means a smaller loan.


Jun 12, 2017

Toronto’s proposed registration and licensing system for Airbnb style short-term rentals will proceed to public consultations after Mayor John Tory’s executive committee approved city staff’s draft plan on Monday night.
City staff produced a report proposing that short-term rentals be legal for up to three rooms or an entire home in Toronto as long as it is a person’s principal residence.


Jun 12, 2017

City staff have been given the go-ahead from Mayor John Tory’s executive committee to look at creating a vacant home tax.
In housing crunch, 15,000 to 28,000 Toronto homes sit empty, says new city report
They arrived at their figure by looking at Toronto Hydro data on addresses where electricity and water hadn’t been used in a year.
The city estimates those empty homes represent 2 to 4 per cent of all housing units.


Apr 29, 2017

Victoria has dropped its bid to have the province impose a 15 per cent non-resident buyers tax on real estate transactions.


Apr 20, 2017

Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan changes from 04/20/2017
Rental housing
1. Expanding rent control to all private rental units
2. Introduce legislation to standardize language in rental leases and make other changes to the Residential Tenancies Act
3. Making sure multi-residential apartment buildings are charged property taxes at similar rates to other residential properties
4. A $125-million program over five years “to further encourage the construction of new rental apartment buildings”
Foreign buyers and speculation
5. Introducing a 15-per-cent “Non-Resident Speculation Tax” in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region
6. Partnering with the Canada Revenue Agency to strengthen reporting requirements and make sure taxes are paid on real-estate purchases and sales
‘Property scalpers’ beware
7. Working to understand and tackle real-estate practices that allow “paper flipping” and other speculation
8. Reviewing rules for real-estate agents to “ensure that consumers are fairly represented”
Vacancy tax
9. Introducing legislation to let Toronto “and potentially other municipalities” introduce vacancy taxes
Other changes
10. Create new market housing and affordable-housing units with surplus provincial land
11. Creating a “Housing Supply Team” to identify obstacles to housing developments and work with developers and municipalities to address them
12. Establishing a group to advise the government on the housing market and the effects of the newly announced changes
13. Educating consumers on their rights in real-estate transactions
14. Giving municipalities “flexibility” to use property taxes to fuel development
15. Overhauling standards for elevator repair
16 An updated Growth Plan with municipalities to address density and “an appropriate range of unit sizes”

Dec 15, 2016

B.C. offers interest-free loans up to $37.5K to 1st-time home buyers.


Oct 30, 2016

The Federal Government is also instituting new eligibility rules for low-ratio (higher than 20% down payment) mortgages backed by government insurance.
As of November 30, 2016,  to be eligible for government insurance, new mortgages must meet the following requirements:
1. A loan whose purpose includes the purchase of a property or subsequent renewal of such a loan;
2. A maximum amortization length of 25 years;
3. A maximum property purchase price below $1,000,000 at the time the loan is approved;
4. For variable-rate loans that allow fluctuations in the amortization period, loan payments that are recalculated at least once every five years to conform to the original amortization schedule;
5. A minimum credit score of 600 at the time the loan is approved;
6. A maximum Gross Debt Service ratio of 39 per cent and a maximum Total Debt Service ratio of 44 per cent at the time the loan is approved, calculated by applying the greater of the mortgage contract rate or the Bank of Canada conventional five-year fixed posted rate; and,
A property that will be owner-occupied.


Oct 17, 2016

CRA new schedule to report sale of property to be eligible for principal residence tax exemption
All (not only variable) insured mortgages must undergo a “stress test” (current 4.64%) that ensures a borrower’s ability to make their mortgage payments at a higher interest rate.
Monoline lenders new financing
To qualify for mortgage insurance, a homebuyer’s debt servicing ratio must be no higher than:
Gross Debt Service – 39 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes and heating costs.
Total Debt Service – 44 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes, heating costs and all other debt payments.
The announced measure will apply to new mortgage insurance applications received on October 17, 2016 or later. This measure will not apply to mortgage loans where:
before October 3, 2016: a mortgage insurance application was received;
the lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan;
the borrower entered into a legally binding agreement of purchase and sale for the property against which the loan is secured.

Mortgage loans for which mortgage insurance applications are received after October 2, 2016 and before October 17, 2016 are also not affected by the rule change, provided that the mortgage is funded by March 1, 2017. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages are not affected by this measure.


Aug 1, 2016

BC 15% tax on transfers by foreign nationals in 22 Vancouver and burbs


Feb 15, 2016

Increased minimum down payment from 5% to 10% on the portion over 500K


Jul 9, 2012

As of July 9, 2012, the rules for government-backed insured mortgages will tighten
again in Canada. This will be the fourth round of rule tweaking since 2008.
1. Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today announced that the maximum amortization
period for government-backed insured mortgages will be reduced to 25
years from 30 years.
2. The maximum amount that an individual can borrow when refinancing will be
lowered to 80% from 85%.
3. The federal government will set a maximum for gross debt-service ratio (GDS) at
39% and lower the maximum for total debt-service ratio (TDS) to 44% from 45%.
4. Government-backed insured mortgages will no longer be available for homes with
a purchase price of $1 million or more.
5. In a separate announcement today, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial
Institutions (OFSI) issued its final guideline on residential mortgage underwriting
and practices, which among other things, define internal controls, reporting and
monitoring expected of federally-regulated financial institutions.


Jan 17, 2011

Reduce the maximum amortization period to 30 years from 35 years for new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent. This will significantly reduce the total interest payments Canadian families make on their mortgages, allow Canadian families to build up equity in their homes more quickly, and help Canadians pay off their mortgages before they retire.
Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages to 85 per cent from 90 per cent of the value of their homes. This will promote saving through home ownership and limit the repackaging of consumer debt into mortgages guaranteed by taxpayers.
Withdraw government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes, such as home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. This will ensure that risks associated with consumer debt products used to borrow funds unrelated to house purchases are managed by the financial institutions and not borne by taxpayers.


Feb 16, 2010

The Government will therefore adjust the rules for government-backed insured mortgages as follows:
Require that all borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. This initiative will help Canadians prepare for higher interest rates in the future.
Lower the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages to 90 per cent from 95 per cent of the value of their homes. This will help ensure home ownership is a more effective way to save.
Require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner-occupied properties purchased for speculation.


Between 2008 and 2012

Ottawa tightened rules for new insurable loans four times between 2008 and 2012, including upping the minimum down payment to five per cent and reducing the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30.

Oct 15, 2008

Cutting the maximum amortization period to 35 years from 40.
Requiring a minimum down payment of five per cent, whereas loans for 100 per cent of the price are possible now.
Establishing a requirement for a consistent minimum credit score.
Introducing new loan-documentation standards.