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Mortgage changes not expected to impact housing prices

Last Updated Nov 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm PDT

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New mortgage stress tests come into effect in January

One real estate agent says changes to mortgage qualification hasn't caused a flurry of buying activity

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A month and a half to go before new mortgage rules come into effect in Canada.

In the New Year, all buyers, even those paying with more than 20 per cent down, will be subject to an income “stress test.” A similar test was introduced last year for those buying with less than 20 per cent down.

But home buyers don’t seem to be in a hurry to make a purchase before January 1st.

Royal Lepage real estate agent Aaron Jasper says there hasn’t been a flurry of buying activity in anticipation of the stricter mortgage qualifications.

He does concede, though, that people might have to wait a bit longer to meet those qualifications.

“A person who’s trying to sell that one-bedroom condo might be delayed in buying up to a two-bedroom. So there is some concern. We have seen examples in the past where some mortgage qualification rules changed and they levelled out the prices.”

But he doesn’t expect any major reductions in home prices.

“I’ve talked with others folks in the industry – realtors and mortgage brokers. The feeling I sense out there is no one is anticipating a substantial price reduction as a result of these changes coming in.”

And he points out the new regulations only apply to the banks. Credit unions are not required to “stress test” their mortgage applicants in the way banks are.