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CMHC’s 2010 Canadian Housing Observer

Canadian-Housing-Observer CMHC just released the 2010 version of its flagship publication, the Canadian Housing Observer.

Here’s a rundown of its mortgage-related data (our comments in italics)…


Housing’s Economic Impact

  • Housing-related economic activity was $307 billion last year—about 1/5 of Canada’s GDP
  • Real estate comprises over 40% of Canadian household assets

Mortgage Debt

  • Mortgage payments were 33% of average disposable income in Q4 2009, not far from the 31% historical averageThis ratio changes when rates and home prices go up and down.

Home Equity

  • The average Canadian homeowner has 74% equity versus just 43% for U.S. homeowners
  • 60% of Canadian homeowners have a mortgage.
  • 80% of mortgagors have at least 20% equity
  • 9% of mortgagors have less than 10% equity
  • 18% of homeowners withdrew equity in the 12 months leading up to Oct. 2009, down from 22% in the prior year


(Click to enlarge)

Mortgage Brokers

  • Mortgage brokers originated 38% of new mortgages in 2009

Recent insider estimates suggest broker share is in the 20-25% range today as banks grow their sales forces and the rate wars intensify.

Mortgage Funding

  • 60% of mortgages are funded through deposits
  • 32% are funded through mortgage-backed securities

CMHC says: “The majority of the securitization funding done by Canadian banks is through government-backed programs where mortgage loan insurance is mandatory.”

  • 8% of mortgages are funded via other means, including covered bonds
  • The Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) market grew 7.8% in 2009 to $175.6 billion


  • Allocation of outstanding mortgage credit:
    • Chartered Banks: 48%
    • NHA Mortgage-backed Securities: 30%
    • Credit Unions: 13%
    • Other (Finance companies, trust co., life insurers, etc.): 9%
  • Mortgages by type of dwelling
    • Single-detached properties: 70.7%
    • Multi-family dwellings: 29.3%

Source:  CMHC

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Last modified: April 26, 2014

Robert McLister is one of Canada’s best-known mortgage experts. A mortgage columnist for The Globe and Mail, interest rate analyst and editor of MortgageLogic.news, Rob has been covering Canada's mortgage market since 2007.