Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland delivered the 2023 federal Fall Economic Statement which provides an update on the country’s fiscal status and the government’s economic priorities. In the face of a rapid global increase in interest rates, many Canadians are feeling the squeeze. In response the government is continuing to support Canadians at a time when some prices are still too high and mortgage renewals are looming. With new targeted measures to help stabilize prices, make life more affordable, and protect Canadians with mortgages, the government has taken action to support Canadians. This includes ensuring Canadians have access to the tailored mortgage relief they need at a time of higher interest rates. To do so, the 2023 Fall Economic Statement announces the new Canadian Mortgage Charter, which details the relief that Canadians can expect from their banks if they are in financial difficulty.
1. Stress test: The federal government reiterated the clarification that the stress test does not need to be reapplied on transfers, switches or renewals for insured mortgages. So this does not apply to all mortgages. Only 27% of Canadian mortgages are insured, versus the uninsured majority at 73%, according to the latest Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation report (CMHC).
2. Canadian Mortgage Charter: The creation of a mortgage charter which will require mortgage lenders to contact homeowners 4 to 6 months prior to the scheduled mortgage renewal to assess their options. This would provide Canadians with choice and allow consumers to find the financing solution that best fits their needs and budget while offering some relief. In today’s interest rate environment, this is a critical move. There is a wave of renewals on the horizon, as two-thirds (65%) of Canadian mortgage holders are up for renewal over the next 3 years, including one in five (19%) over the next year. The Canadian Mortgage Charter is a step to better protect mortgage holders at renewal.
Sources: MPC, Government of Canada