New Home Opportunities Beyond the Stress Test

Posted on 07/13

One of the best investments you’ll ever make is buying a home. While many young families and couples in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area have been pushed out of the new housing market over the last few years due to soaring prices, a recently mandated government mortgage stress test seems to put home ownership even farther out of reach.

What is this stress test? Federally regulated lenders such as banks must apply the mortgage stress test for every applicant without mortgage insurance. The applicant must calculate the amount of the loan at the current Bank of Canada 5-year benchmark rate or the mortgage rate negotiated, whichever is higher, and then add 2% – the margin for additional stress. This ensures that borrowers are not over-extending themselves, even if interest rates rise over the next few years from the near-record lows they reached during the recent real estate boom. The stress test was initially for people applying for mortgages who were prepared to offer less than a 20% down payment. The government changed this rule on October 17th, 2017, stating that beginning in January 2018, everyone looking to purchase a home with a mortgage from a federally regulated lender would require a stress test. Credit unions and other lenders that are not federally regulated are not required to apply a stress test but may choose to do so.

Since the mortgage stress test was put into effect, home buyers are finding they can’t afford as much home as they might have since the new rules came into effect. Shaun Cathcart, a senior economist at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), said ‘Some buyers are now having to shop further down-market.’ Cathcart said the stress test is continuing to push Toronto home buyers to ‘drive until they qualify’ to places like Hamilton or Brantford.

So even as Hamilton home prices climb, nearby Brantford offers even more value for your new home-buying dollar. Brantford was recently selected by the MoneySense financial website as the number one city to buy real estate in Canada. LIV Communities has a superb selection of homes within its Brantview Heights community in Brantford offering one of the rare opportunities to buy a detached home at just over $500,000. It’s easier to pass your mortgage stress test in Brantford!

Don’t be intimidated by the stress test. It actually works in your best interest by ensuring you can afford a home in a rising interest rate environment and being more financially secure. And by choosing a home at Brantview Heights, you get more home in a safe community with all the convenience of big city amenities.

For more information on living in Brantford, please visit

For more information about single detached homes at Brantview Heights, visit


As we all navigate through these unprecedented times, please be advised that LIV Communities’ priority is ensuring the well-being of our customers, employees, trades, suppliers, as well as our communities.   As we continue to closely monitor the risks associated with COVID-19, we are taking all necessary precautions as guided by the World Health Organization (WHO), Health Canada and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To support the well-being of our team members, we have adjusted to remote work schedules, remote and virtual meetings, as well as implemented social distancing and enhanced cleaning measures to ensure that our environments remain as safe as possible across our organization and within communities.

We have proactively set up all employees to be able to work efficiently in a remote environment, so rest assured, your phone calls and emails will be attended to. We are communicating regularly with homeowners on an individual and departmental basis.

Please see below for department updates made the morning of Monday, March 23rd.  As always, please feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or 289.245.1300 for any general inquiries.

Head Office:  Although we have proactively set up all employees to be able to work efficiently in a remote environment, we are currently operating with rotating, minimal staff in the office. Our Head Office doors are locked and potential visitors are asked to email [email protected] or call 289.245.1300

Sales Centres:  Our Nature’s Grand sales centre is open by appointment only beginning Sunday, May 24, 2020. Please note that there is a 2 purchaser maximum allowed to each appointment time (and no children). We are also still accepting virtual appointments via video or phone call. To book an in-person or virtual appointment, please call us at 226.922.0354 or email [email protected].

Service Department: All service is temporarily suspended.  Emergency situations must be directed to [email protected], or by contacting 905.971.0786.

Site Construction Teams: All necessary safety precautions are being taken as we mitigate with an essential and limited crew.  As information and policies are rapidly changing, our site staff is working and communicating continuously with municipalities and trades as well as our homeowners to provide the most current information. For more specific information, please contact [email protected] or 289.245.1300.

Décor Centre: As of April 27th, our Décor Studio will be available for appointments for our homeowners. The Décor Studio continues to be closed for all browsing and visitors.

The wellbeing of our clients and staff are paramount and we are taking all precautionary measures to ensure we maintain the highest possible standards surrounding health and safety. We have implemented the following increased preventative measures:

  • Up to 2 adult visitors per home who are on the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, per appointment. No children under the age of 18.
  • Plexi barriers have been installed at work stations.
  • Ample hand-sanitizer will be provided and increased frequency of disinfecting areas has been implemented.
  • Vigilant hygiene practices will be enforced during appointments.
  • Employees have also been reminded to take increased measures to reduce the risk of transmission of illness and to stay home if they are sick.

Our décor staff will also be screening clients when booking appointments, as well as prior to entry into the building. Individuals will be asked a series of health questions, as well as travel history.

If you are a homeowner with questions or concerns, please reach out to [email protected], or phone 905.304.0471.

Thank you for your understanding and wishing everyone the best of health,

The LIV Communities Team