WINNIPEG – If you’re thinking of buying your first home, be prepared to be scrutinized.
Starting today, you’ll have to undergo stress tests to make sure you can afford the mortgage if your financial situation changes or if interest rates increase.
Glen Melnyk is a financial advisor with Investors Group and he tells 680 CJOB these new rules are long overdue as we tend to live beyond our means.
“The government is… catching up on this. We’ve been on these high risk mortagages… for a long time,” says Melnyk. “Things change in your life. What happens with a job loss? What happens with a divorce? There are so many scenarios that happen.”
Melnyk says he doesn’t expect these changes to discourage too many people from buying a home.
However, there could be other, less obvious reasons that the government is implementing stricter rules.
Local realtor Michael Froese tells 680 CJOB the stress tests may have little to do with the Winnipeg market.
“The PR approach is saying that the feds are trying to make sure that Canadians can afford their homes and they’re not taking on too much debt,” says Froese. “What I do think they’re really trying to do is cool off the housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver. [They’re] experiencing insane growth and insane numbers.”
If you have a 20% down payment or more, these new rules won’t affect you.