Bill Morneau says housing market rule changes will take time to play out

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says it’s “impossible to say with absolute clarity” what the impacts of new mortgage rules introduced by Ottawa earlier this month will be.

The federal government announced a series of changes aimed at stabilizing the country’s housing markets, including tightening mortgage rules that will put new limits on how much some buyers can borrow.

The new rules mean that as of Oct. 17, all insured mortgages will have to undergo a stress test to make sure borrowers will still be able to make their payments even if interest rates go up in the future.

Ottawa also closed a tax loophole so that only Canadian residents can use the principal residence tax exemption.

The exemption allows homeowners to avoid capital gains tax when they sell a home as long as they were living in it.

Morneau says the government will continue to stay focused on the housing market, but that he isn’t currently planning to announce any other measures aimed at cooling the market.

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