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OSFI Expands Stress Test Rate

See below an update on new B-20 Lending Guidelines
As expected the updated “Stress test” will be applied to all mortgage borrowers(borrowing from any lender beginning January 1st of 2018). It has been clarified that the stress test rate will NOT apply for a mortgage RENEWAL if staying with the same lender.
Data Release: OSFI extends ‘stress test’ to all new mortgages
• The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released revised “B-20” guidelines for residential mortgage underwriting at federally regulated financial institutions. As was widely expected, the updated ‘stress test’ will be applied to all new mortgages beginning in January 1, 2018. Currently the test applies only to mortgages requiring insurance (i.e. those with down payments less than 20%).
• This change requires that borrowers qualify for mortgages at the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or the contracted rate plus 200 basis points. For reference, as of this morning, the Bank of Canada posted rate was 4.99%(Nov 1st). It should be noted that OSFI will not apply the more stringent requirements in the case of a mortgage renewal.

So in January all borrowers, with less or more than 20% down payment or equity in a home will be qualified equally under the new rules if borrowing from a federally regulated financial institution.
This is not good news for anyone…