too many new homes being built?
Canada Tightens Mortgage Rules: Equivalent to 100bp Rate Hike
- Long expected but well overdue, Canadian FM Minister Flaherty announced yesterday a series of rule changes yesterday that tighten rules for home mortgages in Canada
- The most significant is shortening the longest amortization period from 30yrs to 25yrs. In terms of monthly payments, this has the same impact as a 100bp rise in mortgage rates. About half of all mortgages have 30yr terms.
- They also lowered LTV from 85% to 80% and tightened standards even more on mortgage loans in excess of $1mm.
- This should definitely be viewed a form of tightening that will delay BoC rate hikes, and may even allow the Bank greater leeway to ease rates if they want to.
- Standard behavior in the past is for borrowers to lock in terms before new rules go into effect. But with the broader message here that household debt levels are dangerously high, and more measures may be forthcoming to cool down the housing market, it wouldn’t be surprising if new mortgage activity isn’t as great as in years past.
- The most basic market impact is for lower short-term rates and a weaker C$ based on likely narrower rate differentials to the U.S. going forward.