Mortgage rules change today, but about half of Canadians don’t know it

A recent survey suggests many people are unfamiliar with the changes

 
 
Starting Monday, lenders can only issue home equity loans up to a maximum of 80% of a property’s value — down from 85%.
 

Starting Monday, lenders can only issue home equity loans up to a maximum of 80% of a property’s value — down from 85%.

Photograph by: Stock photo , Getty Images

TORONTO — New mortgage rules go into effect today in Canada but a recent survey suggests many people are unfamiliar with the changes.

 

Starting Monday, lenders can only issue home equity loans up to a maximum of 80% of a property's value — down from 85%.

 

The maximum amortization period also drops to 25 years from 30 years — giving borrowers less time to repay the debt in full.

 

In addition, the federal government is capping the maximum debt ratios for households and limiting government insurance to mortgages on homes with a purchase price of less than $1-million.

 

A poll conducted by Pollara for Bank of Montreal found only about half of those surveyed were familiar with the changes brought in by the federal government.

 

And only 45% of those surveyed June 29 to July 4 were aware that the maximum amortization period has been shortened by five years.

 

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the new rules on June 21.

 

"The adjustments we are making today will help [households] realize their goals, build on the previous measures we have introduced to keep the housing market strong, and help to ensure households do not become overextended," Jim Flaherty, federal minister of finance, said in a release.

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