BMO poll: New rules scare off 14% prospective buyers

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Nearly 15 per cent of prospective homebuyers say the latest changes make it less likely they will buy a new home in the next five years, according to a new Bank of Montreal poll.

The result jive with the expectation of many mortgage brokers, although some anticipate a higher percentage of first-time buyers – especially those in Toronto and Vancouver – will be shut out of the market for the same reasons.

Those new mortgage rules came into effect Monday, with most broker lenders instituting even earlier deadlines.

The BMO poll suggests that nearly half of Canadians know next to nothing about the key changes around amortization, refinances and debt-service ratios.

Specifically, nearly half (49 per cent) of Canadians are unfamiliar with the new measures put in place by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, according to the poll conducted by Pollara.

In fact, the majority of Canadians do not know the maximum amortization period for government-insured mortgages, with only 45 per cent correctly identifying it as 25 years.

About, one-quarter (26 per cent) of Canadians believe the maximum amortization period for government-insured mortgages is 30 years or more.

Mortgage brokers are expected to take on a key role in helping bring consumers up to speed with those new rules. The collective exercise has the potential to strengthen the industry’s reputation as true partner to homebuyers, say brokering veterans.
 

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