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Home of the Week, 659 Avondale Rd., Newport, N.S.Sherman Hines/Sherman Hines

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.

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Canada’s bank regulator says it won’t relax stress test on mortgage renewals

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) says it will not exempt uninsured borrowers from the mortgage stress test if they switch to a different lender at renewal time, writes Rachelle Younglai. Calls from the real estate industry to relax the stress test have been growing, as the spike in mortgage rates has made it harder for borrowers to qualify for a mortgage.

The regulator said exempting all renewals from the stress test “could cause lenders to compete for loans that do not meet OSFI’s expectations.” However, it said it would monitor for evidence of uncompetitive rates for those who cannot switch lenders and would “take action if warranted.”

This week’s lowest available mortgage rates

And speaking of mortgage rates... Sometimes times get tough, and when they do, bank borrowers miss payments on lines of credit, credit cards or mortgages. If that happens, it’s important to be aware that any cash or assets you have with that same institution are fair game for the bank. It’s called the right to offset, writes Robert McLister in his weekly column. If you get to that point, it’s probably a sign you need to make some serious financial changes. That may well include selling your home, liquidating assets or consulting an insolvency professional.

Ottawa asks banks to cut fees to help borrowers struggling with higher mortgage costs

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the federal government is pushing banks to comply with new guidelines intended to help financially stressed mortgage borrowers make their rising payments, writes Stefanie Marotta. The guidelines, introduced in July, set expectations for how banks should provide support for existing residential mortgage borrowers who are facing “severe” financial challenges, but could also mean banks would lose out on revenue they would generate from interest charges and fees. Freeland said the government will be closely monitoring whether the banks have been complying.

The One, Sam Mizrahi and Jenny Coco’s luxury condo project, put into receivership with $1.6-billion in debt

Under development since 2015 at the corner of Yonge and Bloor streets in Toronto, The One was marketed as Canada’s tallest luxury condo building. However, the project is years behind schedule, owes $1.6-billion to its lenders and faces a growing number of lawsuits, writes Tim Kiladze and Rachelle Younglai. In its receivership application, KEB Hana Bank, a commercial bank based in South Korea, said The One’s senior lenders were not prepared to advance more money without the appointment of an outside group to manage the project and oversee its development.

The application was approved, Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc. has taken over, and KEB agreed to lend up to $315-million more to complete the condo project.

Home of the week: Nova Scotia home built from remnants of 1699 French settler mission

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Home of the Week, 659 Avondale Rd., Newport, N.S.Sherman Hines/Sherman Hines

659 Avondale Rd., Newport, N.S.

The five-bedroom home on Avondale Road didn’t always look like it does today. It was restored by photographer Sherman Hines after he spotted the ruins of an old stone building – missing windows and doors – in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and fell in love with it. During the renovations, Hines discovered the property dated back to a French settler mission in 1699. Today, the house features several living areas, multiple fireplaces, and a new pool and tennis court outside. The best feature is its expanded kitchen, built with old fieldstones used in the original construction of the building.

Guess the price

What do you think is the asking price for the property?
a. $3,250,000
b. $2,795,000
c. $1,825,000
d. $2,088,000

b. The asking price is $2,795,000.

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