Canadian mortgage industry welcomes stress test adjustment

by Steve Randall20 Feb 2020

The body representing thousands of firms and individuals in the Canadian mortgage industry has welcomed the federal government’s plan to change the stress test.

Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) says that finance minister Bill Morneau’s announcement this week that OSFI will review the rules is a good “first step” by addressing federal mortgage eligibility policies that are unnecessarily preventing many Canadians from achieving their goal of home ownership.

"For years now, we have seen Canadians finding it increasingly challenging to enter the home ownership market," said Paul Taylor, President and CEO of MPC at the press conference. "The increased regulation on Canadian mortgage qualification is decreasing competition and increasing costs, ultimately harming consumers' accessibility."

MPC has been urging policymakers to adopt a more reasonable stress test level as well as other lending restriction reforms and other measures that would help housing affordability.

First time buyers plan
The organization says that it is not expecting to see a great impact from the First Time Home Buyers Incentive Plan.

"Based on feedback from our members and the current data, we do not except to see the level of activity increase. We anticipate regional pockets where the First Time Home Buyers Incentive will be more supportive, in which housing prices are already more attainable than other parts of Canada," said Elaine Taylor, Chair of MPC's Board of Directors. "Our requests for adjustments are made in the interest of supporting access to home ownership for younger, aspiring middle class Canadians, whose long term economic well-being has been disproportionately disadvantaged by the current regulatory requirements."

MPC is urging the federal government to act quickly to alleviate the challenges to Canadians achieving their homebuying ambitions.

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