“In the aftermath of the first 24-48 hours, after the federal government introduced the legislation, there was a lot of doom and gloom predicted. Particularly from the mortgage industry; people talking about markets tumbling, talking about lenders going out of business,” Phil Soper, president of Royal LePage, told REP. “Less than two weeks later, I think a sense of proportion has returned to the market and people realize that all the parties to the housing industry -- the realtor, the mortgage broker, the lender, and importantly, the homebuyer -- are resilient and resourceful.”
The liberal government announced a number of mortgage rule changes in early October. The industry scrambled to figure out just what sort of impact it would have on housing markets, homebuyers and, indeed, agents.
Initial sentiment was largely negative – especially about a mortgage stress test that would require homebuyers with high ratio mortgages to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark five-year rate, which would lower the mortgage amount a buyer would qualify for.
But these new rules provide ample opportunity for agents to school their clients and establish themselves as experts.
“[Buyers] will adjust to the new rules and find a way to get their new home. Someone doesn’t stop wanting a house just because the rules change,” Soper said. “So the message to realtors: It’s important to explain what the changes mean to someone and if they were going to borrow to the maximum of the ability, that they might not be able to do so.
“[Agents] may be surprised; some of the rhetoric vastly overstated the way in which people would be forced out of the market,” he continued. “It’s important for realtors to understand the implications of what property people will be able to afford and adjust appropriately. This is nothing new for a seasoned realtor.”
The new mortgage rules and they implications they will have on homebuyers are nothing to seasoned agents, according to one veteran who believes savvy professionals will continue to find success.