In an effort to address the lack of affordable housing, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is going to make it easier for homeowners renting out suites in their principal residence to borrow money. Effective September 28, 2015, homeowners will be able to count the income from their secondary suite when qualifying for a mortgage loan. This change will assist more people in taking the first step into homeownership. It will also allow existing homeowners to take that next step to a bigger property. However, one key issue will be whether the rental unit is legal or conforms to municipal standards. But many municipalities across the lower mainland now formally recognize secondary rental suites as a source of affordable housing.
Under the new rules, homeowners can consider up to 100% of gross rental income from a secondary suite for calculating their household income which determines how much they can borrow. At the moment, homeowners with legal suites can only count 50% of the rental income. It is thought that this change will have a positive effect on qualifying for a mortgage. As an example, a potential buyer looking at purchasing a house with a secondary suite that will generate $1,200 in monthly rent, can borrow an additional $72,000.
As many homeowners show a strong interest in renting out part of their principal residence, these rule changes could be an effective way to boost affordability. The change could also further heat up the market in the Lower Mainland.
If you have any questions about the new rules please contact me directly and I would happy to assist you, I can be reached at 604-317-7810.