“If interest rates rose or there was a slump in employment many borrowers might not be able to make mortgage payments,” the IMF stated in its World Economic Outlook. “The government has already taken some steps to make qualification for mortgages a bit stronger. Other policies to dampen demand may be required.”
The Bank of Canada also noted strong sales and price growth in Vancouver as well as Toronto, both sharing the title of “Canada’s hottest housing market.”
“To date, the impacts on housing activity from falling energy prices appear to be largely restricted to Canada’s energy-producing regions,” the Central Bank said Wednesday. “The previously robust markets of Calgary and Edmonton have seen steep declines in resale activity and a significant slowdown in the year-over-year growth of house prices in recent months.”
That slowdown may be the only thing forcing the federal finance minister to hold off on further tightening of mortgage rules for buyers, fearful such a move would idle the national economy.