Tag Archive: cmhc


The FTHBI Becomes More Useful (to First-Time Buyers)

It didn’t take the government long to propose changes to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI). Just 10 days after the program launched, and following criticism that the Liberals’ new program didn’t address housing needs in high-priced markets, the Libs have tweaked it. Effective this November, if you live in one of three high-cost regions, qualifying for the program may...

First-Time Home Buyer Subsidy Starts Today

After five months of buildup, the government’s controversial First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is now live. Kind of. Applications for the program, which lowers borrowers’ interest and default insurance costs (using taxpayer dollars that may or may not be recouped), are supposed to be available here. But the forms aren’t on the government’s website yet, despite the September 2 launch date....

An Avalanche of New Mortgage Data

Here are seven things you may not know about Canada’s mortgage market. The source: CMHC’s insightful new Residential Mortgage Industry Report. 1) Variable Rates Looked Good (Keyword Being “Looked”) Almost 3 in 10 borrowers (29%) went variable in the first quarter. That’s 12 percentage points higher than two years prior. And that’s despite the historically narrow gap between fixed and variable...

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. A Bridge to Nowhere?

If you’ve been waiting for details about the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) program, hoping it would help you qualify for a mortgage, you may be disappointed. The government finally showed all its cards with the FTHBI scheme and we can’t find a case where it would actually improve someone’s buying power—i.e., bridge the gap between high home prices and what...

Siddall vs. Taylor: Housing Heavyweights Square Off (RateSpy Editorial)

Rarely have the heads of Canada’s housing agency and largest mortgage broker association been at such odds publicly. It feels like CMHC boss Evan Siddall and Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) chief Paul Taylor want to get in the ring and beat the stuffing out of each other. The former published his latest in a series of missives denouncing opponents of...

The Latest on Ottawa’s First-Time Home Buyer Program

The details on the government’s much-hyped First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) continue to trickle out. The latest clues on its operation come from Evan Solomon’s interview with CMHC CEO Evan Siddall. In that interview, Siddall comments on some lingering FTHBI question marks, namely: The Maximum Home Price The maximum home price under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive ranges from $505,000...

Could CMHC Close This Stress Test Loophole?

It’s no secret. Many homebuyers that had no trouble qualifying for a mortgage in 2017 are finding big challenges in 2019. As we wrote yesterday, the government’s harsher mortgage “stress test” is a key reason why. The problem is exacerbated by the banks’ refusal to lower their posted 5-year fixed rates, despite a 55-basis-point drop in the 5-year bond yield...

What’s the Difference Between Insured, Insurable and Uninsured Mortgages?

Interested in a rock-bottom rate you see online? You better understand its stipulations. Mortgage rates aren’t as straightforward as people think. The competitiveness of your mortgage rate is heavily influenced by whether your mortgage can be default insured. In some cases—like when you’re buying a home with less than a 20% down payment—you have no choice. You must buy default...

More Details on the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

If you’ve been waiting for facts on the government’s new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), read on. In a statement today, CMHC said “we still have work to do” before bringing it to market. Among other things, it says: “…The proposal requires some government approvals.” “We also plan to consult with lenders and other industry participants to make sure the...

Could Ottawa Up the Default Insurance Limit?

If we were betting types, we’d wager that in coming months the government makes it possible to mortgage a 7-figure property with just a modest down payment. Here’s why. At the moment, there is a $1 million property value limit if you want to buy a house with less than 20% down and get the best mortgage rates. That price...