Notable News of the Week: May 17, 2013

Alyssa Furtado
by Alyssa Furtado May 17, 2013 / No Comments

OSFI mulls mortgage rules changes – Vancouver Sun

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) is considering new regulations that would restrict banks from offering any mortgages in Canada with an amortization period greater than 25 years. OSFI is doing preliminary consultation with banks to determine the desirability of the proposed changes. Mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) were already capped at 25 years last July. But individuals who have a strong credit rating and make a large down payment can get amortization periods of up to 35 years. As the housing market slows, there is increasing pressure on OSFI and banks to ensure that underwriting standards are concrete. In addition, the Department of Finance and OSFI have taken steps since the financial crisis began in 2008 to tighten mortgage regulations. These steps are being taken to try and prevent what some analysts predict as an upcoming housing bubble.

Canadian house prices edge higher in April – Yahoo! Finance Canada

Home prices rose 0.2 percent in April, compared to March of this year. However, this April was the second weakest April gain in 15 years. The housing market has regained some strength after a slow winter, but has further stabilized after the rapid growth experienced over the last several years. The tightening of mortgage rules has contributed to a slow winter. Prices rose primarily in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, but remained relatively stable in other cities. Price declines were most significant in Vancouver and Quebec City. Year-to-year price gains are slowing down but are still positive in most Canadian cities. Over the last year, the largest price declines have been in Vancouver and Victoria, where prices dropped 2.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively. British Columbia has low mortgage rates and was one of the hottest housing markets but is now experiencing the most significant declines.

Toronto condo rents rise 10% in 2 years as rental demand outpaces sales – CBC News

The Toronto condo rental market is experiencing strong growth as rents went up 4.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2013. Rent prices are rising faster than selling prices, forcing investors who bought condos to rent them out instead of selling them. The average rent has risen to $1,856 – or $2.33 per square foot. A major reason for the increase in rentals is the rise in completed condo projects. In the first quarter of 2013, 4,859 new units were finished, compared to 2,127 in the first quarter of 2012. Additionally, the tightening of mortgage regulations that occurred last summer has taken some people out of the market, adding to the rise in rentals. These changes include reductions in the maximum amortization period for government-backed insured mortgages and the maximum size for a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

CANADIAN MORTGAGE RATES TODAY

A look at current mortgage rates and 5-year mortgage rate history.

Current Mortgage Rates May 16 2013

The average discounted mortgage rates in Canada in 2013:

Discounted Mortgage Rates May 16 2013

A history of weekly 5-year fixed mortgage rates and 5-year variable mortgage rates.

mortgage rates by: ratehub.ca