Houses for sale in Ottawa

Recent weeks have seen calls intensify for the country’s banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), to revisit its criteria for borrowers to qualify for a mortgage.

Superintendent Peter Routledge appeared to dismiss that prospect in a September speech – and while Hogue said now would be an unwise time to make an adjustment, it could arrive at some point down the line.

“I think there’ll have to be some consideration to adjust the mortgage stress test, but… in the current environment of great uncertainty about when and how high interest rates will have to rise, it’s a little bit premature to make any changes right now,” he said.

“But certainly, months down the road, that would be totally appropriate to go through and rethink… probably make it a bit more flexible.”

There remains a lot of uncertainty about the Bank of Canada’s planned terminal point on its trendsetting interest rate, Hogue said, with inflation remaining persistent and the central bank having said in its latest statement that it expected rates would need to rise even further.

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