As of January 1st 2018, all prospective buyers, even those with a down payment of over 20% will be required to undergo a "stress test" before any banking institution will be able to issue a loan for a mortgage. In the past only buyers with a down payment of less than 20% had to undergo these so-called stress tests, in which prospective buyers would have to qualify for a mortgage rate either 2 percentage points above the negotiated rate, or the Bank of Canada's five-year benchmark rate, whichever was the greater of the two. As of now the the central banks five-year rate is sitting at 4.89%. The original proposal for these measures was made in July 2017 amid the concern over rapid house price appreciation happening within southern Ontario. Since the original proposal the Bank of Canada has twice raised its benchmark interest rates. Financial stability played a major role in the decision making process according to Governor Stephen Poloz. Many economists with TD Bank are anticipating these measures will depress the housing demand by 5-10% once fully implemented.This in hand with home sales being down 11% since September 2016 will cause these tougher mortgage rates to affect one in every six prospective home buyers. These new rules will make refinancing mortgages more difficult to negotiate and in turn will create a significant push towards the private-mortgage sector, where the players are not regulated as Canada's big six banks are.