Date: April 5, 2023

Category: Newsletter

There’s been so much to talk about this past month, yet so little at the same time. We’ve had some changes to policies and programs, inflation numbers dropped lower than expected, and there’s been lots of movement in the bond market, sending the 5-year fixed rates on a roller coaster ride. Let’s break it down and review.

Amendment to the Foreign Buyer Ban

Launch of the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA)   

Update on the possible end to Quantitative Easing 

Homeowners on the hunt for lower rates and solutions at renewal time

Continued advocacy by Mortgage Professionals Canada 

Amendment to the Foreign Buyer Ban

The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act, also known as the Foreign Buyer Ban, received four amendments.

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The four amendments affect; Work Permit Holders,  Vacant Land Zoned for Residential or Mixed Use, Exception for development purchases,  and Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3% to 10%

Work Permit Holders

A key criticism we raised regarding the foreign buyer ban was that it contradicts federal immigration goals, limiting the ability of work permit holders from purchasing residential property. Now work permit holders are allowed to purchase residential property as long as they have 183 days or more of validity remaining on their work permit.

Vacant Land Zoned for Residential or Mixed Use

Under the previous regulations, vacant land that was zoned for residential or mixed-use could not be purchased by non-Canadians. This restriction has now been lifted.

Exception for development purchases

Non-Canadians will now be able to purchase residential property for the purpose of development. This exception was only previously applicable to publicly-traded corporations.

Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3% to 10%

Since the ban came into effect, there has been concern amongst developers that this threshold was too restrictive and would have damaging consequences to the development of new housing to meet the government’s supply goals. With this amendment, the maximum threshold for purchasing residential property by a privately held corporation or entity controlled by a non-Canadian has increased from 3% to 10%.

Launch of the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA) 

The first home savings account (FHSA) is a registered plan allowing you, as a prospective first-time home buyer, to save for your first home tax-free (up to certain limits). You will be able to open an FHSA starting April 1, 2023

To qualify as a first-time homebuyer, you cannot have owned a home in the last four years. Sounds great — right? There are a few caveats to the new program. You can only contribute up to $40,000 in your lifetime and will be maxed to $8,000 per year to commence this start year in 2023.

Connect here to learn more about this program:
Understanding the First Home Savings Account – Ask Ana Cruz

Update on the possible end to Quantitative Easing 

At this year’s 21st annual National Bank Conference

Deputy Governor Toni Gravell said, “As for the question of when QT will end, this will likely occur sometime around the end of 2024 or the first half of 2025,” now we know not to bank on the words of the Bank of Canada (pun intended) however all indicators lead me to believe this statement is as true to a prediction as we can get today – based on the information available today.

Here’s what we know;

Inflation numbers are down to 5.20%. We know that bringing down inflation doesn’t happen in a straight line – it’s a bumpy ride (we’ve all felt it along the way), but we are heading in the right direction.

A few key dates coming up:

April 12 – next Bank of Canada announcement date- where it’s anyone’s call as to what the BOC will do.

April 18 – next Inflation Numbers Release Date

I’m not too fond of predictions, but I usually have an opinion on what I think will happen at the next announcement, and this is one time that I can’t decide if the BOC holds or not. What I’m fairly confident of is that we should not see a decrease just yet – too early.

Homeowners on the hunt for lower rates and solutions at renewal time

As Canadians, we can all agree that “we are always on the hunt for the best deals.” This year, we have seen a massive increase in calls/emails from all of you about your mortgage renewals.

WHY? When rates are low, most mortgage holders don’t bother to shop around for a better rate; they usually take what the bank/lender offers.

However, with higher inflation, higher cost of living, mortgage rates higher than they were 2-5 years ago, and the possibility of a looming recession top of our minds, Canadians are asking questions and looking for the best rates, best solution and advice.

Here’s what you need to know;

Don’t early renew your mortgage out of fear that rates will increase. Remember, we can hold a rate up to 120 days before your renewal date; this allows us to protect today’s rate and close on renewal without penalty. If rates decrease before your renewal date, we secure a lower rate. If rates increase before renewal, you are secure in your locked-in rate.

The moral of the story – don’t auto-renew; let’s connect and review your options.

Continued advocacy by Mortgage Professionals Canada 

Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) is Canada’s largest and most respected mortgage industry association, dedicated to maintaining a high standard of industry ethics, consumer protection and best practices.

MPC engages with the government on numerous topics; currently, they are working on the following;

Returning to 30-year amortization periods for insured mortgages

Eliminating the stress test on mortgage transfers, switches, and renewals

Increasing the insured mortgage cut-off from $1M to $1.25M

Mortgage fraud prevention.

This voluntary board is dedicated to its members and Canadian homeowners. They will continue to work on these top priorities and others, and we will keep you updated as we learn more.

As I said at the beginning of this update, there’s so much to talk about, yet so little at the same time.

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To learn more connect with Ana Cruz 905.870.0513 or email at