No Changes to the Qualifying Rates for Mortgages

Today the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages will remain the greater of the mortgage contract rate plus 2% or 5.25%, as it has been since June 1, 2021.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) welcomes the decision to leave the minimum qualifying (stress test) rate unchanged at this time given the spread between this rate and the discounted mortgage contract rates most borrowers are able to negotiate is still much larger than the originally intended 200 basis points.

Today’s decision not to raise the minimum qualifying rate means the stress test will act as a kind of cushion against expected further mortgage interest rate increases in 2022 as opposed to making achieving the dream of homeownership for first-time buyers more difficult than it already is given the historic lack of housing supply on the market.

Going forward, we will continue to advocate for a supply-first approach to tackling housing affordability issues in Canada.

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