The government announced  that it is raising the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages to 10 per cent from 5 per cent for the portion of house prices above $500,000.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who announced the change in Ottawa Friday, said the new rules will take effect on Feb. 15, 2016. Down payment rules for mortgages for properties below $500,000 will be unchanged.

Mr. Morneau said the rule change is intended to target high-priced properties and should have less of an impact on first-time home buyers.

Ottawa had previously restricted its mortgage insurance to homes valued at less than $1-million, so the minimum down payment for more expensive homes remains unchanged at 20 per cent.

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