This week Hon. Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau announced a new benchmark rate for qualifying insured mortgages. According to him, the Government is taking the necessary steps to protect the most important investment for many Canadians, their home.

The Government of Canada has introduced measures to help more Canadians achieve their housing needs while also taking measured actions to contain risks in the housing market.

Changes announced were made to the benchmark rate which is used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages, also known as the “stress test.” These changes will come into effect on April 6, 2020. The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%.

This follows a recent review by federal financial agencies which concluded that the minimum qualifying rate should be more dynamic to better reflect the evolution of market conditions.

Quotes

“For many middle-class Canadians, their home is the most important investment they will make in their lifetime. Our government has a responsibility to ensure that investment is protected and to support a stable housing market. The government will continue to monitor the housing market and make changes as appropriate. Reviewing the stress test ensures it is responsive to market conditions.”

– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance


“A stable and healthy housing market is part of a strong economy, which is vital to building and supporting a strong middle class. That is why our Federal Liberal Government has taken the action, alongside other regulators, to ensure that Canadians are taking on mortgages they can afford, even if interest rates rise, incomes change, or families are faced with unforeseen circumstances.

As always, we will continually monitor our mortgage finance policies – including the stress test to ensure that they protect the financial security of middle-class Canadians.”

– Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South