January 26, 2017
Mortgage Regulations and the Rental Market
Recent changes to mortgage regulations in Canada as well as the United States may have an impact on the rental market. Let’s take a look…
POTUS & the Property Rental Market
Last Friday, when Donald Trump took office in the United States, one of his first acts as president was to repeal the 0.25 percentage point premium rate cut for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans announced by Obama’s team in his final days in office. The new rates would have gone into effect tomorrow, January 27.
Instead, new Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, released a memorandum to executive departments and agencies to freeze new and pending regulations from the previous administration. The cut would have saved homeowners an average of about $500 this year.
The suspension of that decision will, no doubt, be a setback to homebuyers currently out looking for a home, especially on top of the rise in mortgage interest rates following the November election.
What does this mean for the rental market? The increase in mortgage rates in conjunction with the new freeze could mean less people will able to buy homes, driving up the demand for rental properties.
Builders and investors take note: Trump has noted that over-regulation has had a big impact on construction costs and timelines on more than one occasion. He is expected to loosen up the regulation landscape, which could lead to a pick up in multifamily construction.
Here in Canada
New regulations, in the form of a mortgage stress test, introduced in Canada in October and November appear unlikely to have much of an impact on already-tight rental markets in Canadian cities.
On January 17 of this year, the CMHC announced that it is “increasing its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums effective March 17, 2017. For the average CMHC-insured homebuyer, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment.”
The housing market is expected to cool a little in 2017, with the CREA predicting a decline in Ontario by 2.7% and BC by 12.2%.
Yet the rental market is seeing new record condo rental prices as tenants fight over a shortage of listings. A recent Urbanation report points out that, “despite a 34% year-over-year surge in final closings for newly completed condos in Q4-2016, total rental listings fell by 8%, pulling down lease volumes by 4% annually during the quarter. Average condo apartment rents shot up by 11.7% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, the highest level of growth ever recorded.
However, more new builds are expected to be completed in 2017, which may ease some of the pressure.
The bottom line? Overall, as the housing market cools a little in both the US and Canada, the 2017 rental market is expected to be strong. Be sure to differentiate from the competition!
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