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Calgary home prices expected to rise as new stress test takes effect

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Higher standards are coming for stress tests for uninsured mortgages, affecting buyers with more than 20 per cent down.

The incoming Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) mortgage financing stress test will take effect on January 1, 2018.

It targets existing and prospective homeowners applying for a mortgage, requiring them to meet stricter criteria when seeking new financing.

Corrine Lyall with Royal LePage Benchmark in Calgary said that could impact sales in the early part of the year as consumers adjust.

“[There are] people that potentially could have qualified for a higher purchase price before this stress test, before these new OSFI rules, that now will qualify for a lower purchase price,” said Lyall.

The organization believes sales will pick up later in the year, driven by Alberta’s recovering economy, especially in the energy sector.

Royal LePage Benchmark is calling for the aggregate price of a home to rise 2.3 per cent in 2018 to just over $494,000, with single family homes under the $500,000 mark seeing the biggest bump.