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Been Here Before

MortgagesWhen news hit that CMHC was nearing its legislative limit for issuing mortgage default insurance, the headlines were ominous.

It was like CMHC had never approached its insurance cap before.

In fact, it has—four or five times since 2003.

The closest it came was in 2007. At the time (year-end 2007), CMHC had used up $345 billion (99%) of its $350 billion insurance limit. That limit was later raised to $450 billion in March 2008.

Therefore, despite CMHC’s insurance in force now being over 90% of its current $600 billion government maximum, it is not in unfamiliar territory on a percentage utilization basis.

On an absolute basis, CMHC will set a new insurance-in-force record once it surpasses $600 billion (if and when the government raises its limit next).

Rob McLister, CMT