New mortgage rules to impact province's housing market

Borrowers will have to prove they can pay back a mortgage at 4.64 per cent interest, higher than the interest on most loans now.

Rules will test borrowers' ability to pay inflated rates

New rules take effect today that could further dampen an already slow New Brunswick real estate market. Anyone taking out an insured mortgage will have to show they can afford it at higher than present interest rates. 2:13

New rules and a new test aimed at making it harder to get a mortgage in Canada came into effect Monday. While the rules were put in place largely to cool down hot housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, its effects will be felt in New Brunswick as well.

The new test is seen as a safeguard against defaults due to interest rates potentially rising. The test will determine if borrowers will be able to pay back a loan at 4.64 per cent interest, a far greater rate than is often offered.

The test will be used for any borrower without at least a 20 per cent down payment who hopes to get an insured mortgage.

Gregory Klump, the Canadian Real Estate Association's chief economist, said the effect on the New Brunswick housing market will be mixed.

"What I expect is lower priced homes will get a greater amount of interest because now buyers who could previously afford to buy a more expensive home will be looking at a more affordably priced home," said Klump.

While some properties may see increased interest, others will not.

"It probably going to take a little bit longer, particularly if you're in a higher priced home, to find a buyer for that home," said Klump.

With files from Harry Forestell.