Ontario regulator to clearly define mortgage ‘suitability’

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In the past year, FSRA also introduced an additional educational requirement for Ontario agents wishing to transact in the private mortgage space, with the final deadline for completion of the challenge exam passing on Tuesday (October 31).

Alternatively, agents may undertake an additional private mortgage course, with a cutoff point of March 31, 2024 for completion of that program.

That heightened focus on the private mortgage space has arrived amidst a surge in demand for alternative products in Canada’s mortgage market. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) indicated in its spring residential mortgage industry report that borrowers in alternative lending are also becoming more likely to renew their loan there because of their inability to qualify with traditional institutions.

In the final quarter of 2022, 35% of mortgages in the alternative segment were renewed with the same or another alternative lender, CMHC said, up from 28% at the beginning of that year.

“In a context where mortgage borrowers are staying for a longer period in the alternative lending space, and therefore paying higher interest rates, affordability remains an outstanding issue for these borrowers,” the Corporation noted, “who could find themselves in challenging financial situations.”

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