Monday, May 13, 2013

Changing Uninsured Amortizations to 25 Years

Some rumours abound of maximum amortization lengths for uninsured mortgages being set to 25 years as a form of macroprudential easing of relative excesses in the Canadian housing market. To quantify this change, and put it in recent historical perspective, I have graphed the change in affordability relative to 2000 for a fixed income and debt-service ratio, using prevailing average mortgage rates for both insured and uninsured mortgages. Currently 30-year amortizations for uninsured mortgages are possible, but if these were dialled back to 25 years, the effect on maximum loan affordability is evident:
It should be clear that the proposed changes are not announced or in force, but we can see in recent months the gap between uninsured and insured loan affordability has widened. If prices are to fall an uninsured mortgage can quickly become insured, hence, likely, the consternation in Ottawa of this gap. If amortizations were to change from 30 to 25 years this amounts to an affordability drop of 10%, and a halving of the insured-uninsured affordability spread from 24% to 12%.

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