Five Hottest Mortgages Stories of 2016

In a year when there was considerable federal intervention in the housing market with various new mortgage rules, 2016 made for interesting reading

December 12, 2016

In October, federal finance minister Bill Morneau announced the new "stress test" mortgage qualification rules for home buyers with less than 20 per cent down payment  — 
After the announcement of the new mortgage qualification rules, Dominion Lending Centres created a useful calculation chart to show how the changes would affect buyers with different down payments
In January, it was announced that there would be a new minimum down payment for homes bought for more than $500,000, starting February 2016
How to increase your mortgage-qualifying income using a rental suite was the subject of a popular article in January 2016
The tricky subject of calculating how much it costs to end your mortgage early was the topic of a popular article in March 2016

It’s been a rough ride for home financing in 2016, but it has certainly made for compelling reading. New minimum down payments and strict new mortgage qualification rules were introduced this year to try to cool the housing market – and have made it much harder for many first-time and low-income buyers to get on the property ladder.

Readers have turned to for information and advice on understanding and coping with this year’s various mortgage bomb. Here is our annual countdown of our five most-read mortgages stories in 2016.

5. What Will It Cost to End My Mortgage Early?

This frequently asked question is tackled in the first of two stories to hit this list by broker Scott Allan. Life changes (and changes of heart) can often result in people wanting to get out of their mortgage sooner than expected, but it can incur expensive penalties. Allan gives the lowdown and explains how you can calculate your own mortgage-termination costs.

4. How to Maximize Income from a Mortgage Helper Suite

The second of two articles on this list by mortgage broker Scott Allan, this extremely helpful article explains a little known mortgage qualification trick. If the home you are mortgaging has a rental suite attached, it may be that your qualifying income can be boosted to get you a much bigger mortgage. This could a lifesaver for some people, especially in these tricky mortgage times – see the following stories.

3. Buying a Home? Are You Ready for the New Down Payment Rules?

The year’s first major mortgage bomb was dropped in January, when it was announced that the minimum down payment for homes over $500,000 would be increased as of mid-February. Mortgage expert Atrina Kouroshnia explains in this well-red article exactly how the new minimum works and what it means for your home purchase.

2. How Much Home Can You Afford Under New Mortgage Rules?

Unsurprisingly one of two articles about the strict new mortgage qualification rules announced and implemented in October this year, this great calcuation chart by Dominion Lending Centres proved a popular tool for those trying to work out what the new system means for them.

1. Feds’ Strict New Mortgage Rules “Target First-Time Buyers and Millennials”

The biggest news of the year for the lending market was October’s announcement of the new “stress test” qualification rules for those taking out an insured mortgage with a down payment of under 20 per cent. This federal intervention had mortgage experts up in arms, saying that the measure intended to cool the housing market and reduced consumer debt would prevent huge numbers of young first-time buyers from getting into the market at all. The impact of this on the housing market is still to be realized.

Joannah Connolly has been editor and content manager of since May 2014. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, and has moderated and spoken on several industry panels. During this time, she also spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of journalism experience in Vancouver and London, with a prior background in construction, architecture and business media.
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