Statement by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on the Canadian housing market


December 12, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Earlier today, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced that it is maintaining at its current level the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages. This rate came into effect on June 1, 2021, and was last reaffirmed on December 15, 2022.

Following this announcement, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, issued the following statement:

“Today, like the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the federal government is maintaining the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages. It remains as the greater of the borrower’s mortgage contract rate plus a buffer of 2 per cent, or a floor of 5.25 per cent.

“The minimum qualifying rate provides a buffer for home buyers and protects Canadians from changing economic circumstances, including increased interest rates and unforeseen personal circumstances.

“Due to elevated interest rates, many Canadian homeowners today are facing challenges with their mortgage payments. That is why our government recently announced the new Canadian Mortgage Charter.

“The Canadian Mortgage Charter details the tailored mortgage relief that the government expects lenders to provide to Canadians facing a challenging financial situation with the mortgage on their principal residence. It also reaffirms that insured mortgage holders are not required under the regulations to requalify under the minimum qualifying rate when switching lenders at mortgage renewal.

“Our goal is to protect Canadians—by ensuring they have the support they need to afford their mortgages. We will continue to monitor the Canadian housing market and remain ready to make changes to the minimum qualifying rate if warranted.”

Quick facts

  • Since 2021, OSFI and the Department of Finance have reviewed and communicated the minimum qualifying rate each December. This timing is set well in advance of the high-volume spring housing market.
  • Today marks the third, regular December review of the insured minimum qualifying rate.

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Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

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