2/3 of Canadians are neutral or pessimistic on whether it's a good time to buy a house right now. Saskatchewan residents stand out, with 70% of them pessimistic on the housing market.
CAAMP says 34% of first-time buyers arranged their mortgage through a mortgage broker in the past year. For renewals the number was 16%. For refinances: 17%. (That's likely because people are programmed to talk to their existing lender first, or don't have the initiative to do anything but sign their lender's renewal agreement.)
Will Dunning, the report's author, says employment is the key driver of Canada's housing market. He says job creation is especially important, and it's been strong of late.
Canada's average home price shot up 79% from 2001 to 2007, or 9.5% a year.
"Interest-only mortgages, longer amortization periods (e.g. 40 years), and no down-payment mortgages" are believed to have significantly increased home sales in 2007. Yet the effect fizzled by the end of the year.
Mortgage credit has ballooned 13% in the last 12 months. 8% has been the average annual growth rate for the past 10 years.
Mortgage arrears at Canada's top 7 lenders are still only 0.25%. (Arrears are defined as delinquencies over 90-days)
Discount mortgage/bond spreads are improving (good news for you fixed-rate mortgage shoppers). Spreads peaked in late March at 2.9%, according to Dunning. They've since dropped to 2.5%–but are still well above the 1.1% long-term average.
Dunning says there is "no evidence that the so-called credit crunch has negatively affected Canadian housing market activity." (This might be true as a whole. But don't expect someone with weak credit to believe it.)
41% of Canadians think negatively about long-term amortizations while 29% think they're positive.
40% of Canadians are negative on 100% financing while 32% think 100% financing is a good thing.
Renters and people bullish on housing prices are generally more accepting of longer amortizations and 100% financing.
11% of Canadians are unaware that the U.S. is having a housing crisis–down from 22% last fall.
Chartered banks hold a 55.6% share of residential mortgage credit. Credit unions are at 13%.
The volume of outstanding NHA mortgage-backed securities (used to fund mortgages) has soared 54% in the past year and a half.
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