Mortgage rules to be tightened further by Ottawa
Amortization rules, home equity borrowing limits to be more strict
Jun 20, 2012 9:07 PM ET
The federal Finance Department is moving to further tighter mortgage rules to address concerns over high Canadian household debt.
The government announced Wednesday it will reduce the maximum amortization period for a government-insured mortgage, lowering it from 30 to 25 years, and also drop the upper limit that Canadians can borrow against their home equity from 85 per cent to 80 per cent.
Buyers who purchase a home with a down payment of less than 20 per cent of its value are required to purchase government-backed mortgage insurance through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Under the new rules, mortgages amortized over a period longer than 25 years will no longer qualify for that insurance, making it effectively impossible to get a highly leveraged mortgage of more than 25 years in Canada.
The announcement marks the fourth time in four years that the government has clamped down on mortgage rules. It first moved in 2008 by cutting the maximum amortization period to 35 years from 40 and requiring a minimum down payment of five per cent.
Further changes were announced in February 2010, and came into effect April of that year.