As of July 9th, there will be some changes to Mortgage Insurance Rules in Canada.
The 4 changes include:
1. The maximum amortization period is now 25 years (down from 30 years)
2. The maximum amount of equity homeowners can take out of their homes when refinancing is 80% (down from 85%)
3. Insured Mortgages are now limited to homes purchased for less than $1 Million (to ensure taxpayer-backed mortgages are not going to wealthy Canadians)
4. The maximum Gross Debt Service Ratio will be fixed at 39% and the Maximum Total Debt Service Ratio will be fixed at 44%.
A further discussion of the new rules, why they were instated and how they can affect you: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/in-vancouver-the-sellers-market-recedes/article4389244/
Some frequently asked questions are answered by the Government: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-070_2-eng.asp
Briefly, these changes will decrease affordability for Buyers (especially first time buyers) in the Short Term. The market will correct itself eventually, and until then it will prevent people from jumping too deep, too quickly into homeownership. Some good news to come out of this is that Vancouver is now entering a Buyer's Market, meaning there is a lot of product to choose from and with less competition, the prices will be lower than recent months. Lower prices will mean your down payment will go further, and the new Mortgage rules might only have a small effect on your financing.
Here is an article detailing the end of the Seller's Market: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/mortgage-clampdown-will-save-canadians-thousands-flaherty/article4359232/