Owning a home is a significant financial commitment, especially in a challenging interest rate environment. Understanding the unique challenges of shopping for and securing a mortgage in tough conditions can help make the process easier.

Buying a Home

In a difficult interest rate environment at a time when housing affordability is particularly challenging, prospective homeowners need to carefully evaluate their financial decisions. This includes considerations such as mortgage size and down payments, the term of the mortgage and the choice of a fixed and variable interest rate mortgage.

Shopping Around

When shopping for a mortgage you need to think about what matters most to you – whether it's the predictability of fixed payments or the flexibility of variable rates. And if the interest rate makes sense for your budget. More information about the types of mortgages available and the difference between fixed vs variable rates can be found on the CBA’s website. Remember, it's not just about finding a mortgage; it's about finding the right mortgage for you.

Mortgage Realities in a Challenging Market

In a challenging interest rate environment influenced by high inflation, there are several considerations that prospective homeowners will need to face, including the impact of inflation on interest rates. Understanding the dynamics between fixed and variable rates is important since market fluctuations directly affect mortgage payments. Talk to your bank about the interest rate that makes the most sense for you and your circumstances.

Moreover, navigating the mortgage landscape requires an understanding of mortgage loan insurance rules, particularly in high‑ratio scenarios when you have less than a 20% down payment.

Federal Programs that Can Help

Exploring federal government programs, such as the Home Buyers Plan and First‑Time Home Buyers Incentive offer additional help for navigating the challenges of a tough market. These programs can provide support and financial assistance, adding an extra layer of resilience for homebuyers in challenging economic times.

More information about mortgage loan insurance, federal assistance programs, renewing your existing mortgage and an explanation of prepayment charges when breaking your mortgage contract, can be found on the CBA website.

Bank Resources*

Banks in Canada provide a wealth of information for consumers on home buying and mortgages. Visit their websites to learn more.

* The information presented on this website is subject to change due to the announced sale of HSBC Bank Canada to Royal Bank of Canada. The sale is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2024. Consumers are advised to contact the bank directly for the most up-to-date and accurate details regarding the services and products mentioned.


If you have general questions about banking in Canada, call the Canadian Bankers Association’s Banking Information Line at 1-800-263-0231 or send an email to inform@cba.ca.

More Information

  • Buying a Home
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

  • About Mortgages
    Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)
    (this is a link to all of the FCAC’s mortgage publications)