The Canadian mortgage market started the year off with a great deal of buzz, resulting fromrecent events and policy changes and programs introduced in 2019. Here are some key highlights of what's taken place at the start of 2020:

1. Recent coronavirus outbreak could push down Canadian mortgage rates

Fear of the recent coronavirus outbreak in North America is affecting financial markets and could potentially bring down fixed-rate mortgages in Canada, which are based on the Government of Canada 5-Year Bond Yield. Read More

2. Booming Canadian real estate markets show low use of CMHC first-time home buyer incentive

The CMHC's new first-time home buyer incentive -created to help Canadians enter the real estate market - saw low rates of use since its introduction in September 2019. While applicants remained relatively strong in Quebec and Alberta, booming markets like Vancouver and Toronto are showing minimal activity. Read more

3. Recent survey shows that over 50% of GTA home buyers were affected by 2019 OFSI mortgage stress test

A recent survey in the yearly housing report by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board reported that more than half of potential home buyers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were affected by the OFSI mortgage stress test in 2019. Due to these stricter rules, many buyers are looking for different homes in distant locations outside of the GTA. Read more

4. New variable rate borrowers are paying the highest average interest rate in at least half the decade

Bank of Canada (BoC) data showed that variable mortgage rates rose in September 2019. As a result, new borrowers are now paying the highest average interest rate in at least half the decade**. Read more**