House over $500,000? New downpayment rules in February.
On February 15, 2016, minimum downpayment rules are changing in Canada – for homes worth more than $500,000. The change is straightforward: for any portion of the house price over $500,000, buyers will need to provide 10% downpayment for an insured mortgage. The minimum downpayment for the first $500,000 will remain unchanged at 5%.
How much difference could it make? Here’s a simple example:
Right now, you could get a mortgage for a $750,000 home with a downpayment of $37,500: a simple 5% of $750,000. Once the new rules kick in next month, you’ll need $50,000 downpayment for the same house: 5% for the first $500,000 ($25,000), plus 10% for the $250,000 over the limit (another $25,000).
The change was announced in mid-December by the new Liberal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau. While most Canadian homebuyers will be unaffected, the move is designed to protect Canadian homeowners by ensuring a stronger equity footing in their homes.
You will need a mortgage approval before February 15 to qualify under the 5% rule, and your purchase must also close before July 1, 2016.