Canada's Condominium Magazine

Mortgage insurance business down, mortgages up, condo preference increasing — new trends in the GTA market

As reported previously in, “mortgage borrowing power” is up significantly due to low-interest rates and higher wages. [Story here>>] At the same time,  the mortgage loan insurance business was down 33 percent, according to CMHC in the second quarter of 2017. This follows on the heels of new regulations introduced in fall 2016.
In CMHC’s latest financial report, the organization insured 78,607 units in the second quarter (ending June 30) — as compared to 117,463 in the same period of 2016.

Mortgage debt up 5%

Meanwhile, TransUnion Canada reported the average debt for mortgages was up five percent. [1]
Taken together — protective insurance down, mortgages up, and borrowing power up — these indicate some stability in the market in terms of the finances of Canadians. Even though mortgage balances were up, delinquency rates dropped by 0.6 percent. With interest rates slightly up, Canadian’s seem — on average — able to carry their mortgage obligations.

Affordability Issue

Affordability in the market had pressured the Ontario government to act. Twelve measures were introduced to cool the markets, which literally threw the brakes on the summer market. Many analysts believe fall will return to an active market, although perhaps more stable.
For the average Canadian, the increase in mortgage load, reduction in delinquency and reduced reliance on mortgage insurance indicates some hope for a stable market, probably at more affordable prices.  Housing demand had not dropped. The lull in the market seems to be a “wait and see” attitude, rather than a drop in demand.



Shift to Condo preference

Another outcome in the market — influenced more by real market forces rather than government intervention — has been a natural shift to vertical condo living. This is a natural trend, driven by increased urban density and poor commuting infrastructure.
Supporting this theory is the significant double-digit increases in condo pricing — up 24.6% in the 416, according to TREB numbers. [See news story here>>]
Lifestyle choices, availability and affordability are making condominiums and vertical living the go-to choice for Toronto.
In addition, BILD reported new condominium sales were up sharply by 89%. Taken together, condominium as a preference is on the rise.
[1] Slower Home Sales Don’t Stop Canadian Mortgages From Booming, HuffPost
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