Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minster Bill Morneau;
One year ago, your government introduced new mortgage rules that put the dream of home ownership out of reach for many Canadians. Although well intended, the changes have reduced the average Canadian family’s purchasing power by upwards of 20 per cent, and have had the unintended consequence of making housing less affordable for Canadians. Instead, Canadians who were once able to purchase or re-finance their home are being shut out of the market or forced to pay more interest to traditional lenders as competition in our sector declines.
The new stress test that requires all new mortgages to qualify at the greater of either the Bank of Canada benchmark rate or the contract rate offered, means that Canadians who previously could reasonably afford a mortgage payment at the standard rates no longer qualify. Additionally, changes to portfolio insurance requirements have resulted in some monoline lenders being unable to insure mortgages, thus reducing overall competition, which hurts consumers, regardless of what solution they use for their homes.
Canadians who are now unable to fulfill their dream of owning a home have been telling us their stories and we’ve been listening. We’ve documented their stories and we think it’s important for you to see them. We’ve posted these stories at www.NewRulesHurt.ca and are sending every Member of Parliament a printed copy so they can read firsthand how the new mortgage rules have impacted the lives of hard working individuals and families in their constituencies. Please take the time to read these stories and seriously consider changing mortgage rules to make them fair and equitable for all Canadians trying to purchase, or keep their home.