Total number of new mortgages slumped in second quarter, says CMHC

TORONTO — Rising interest rates and slower income and population growth helped temper demand for new mortgages in the second quarter, according to Canada Mortgage Housing Corp.

The federal housing agency says fewer Canadians opened new mortgages in the three-month period ending June 30, even though the total number of active mortgages and the value of those mortgages rose during the same quarter compared with a year ago.

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In a report which analyzed mortgage and consumer credit trends from credit agency Equifax, CMHC found that there were 205,000 new mortgages in the second quarter of 2018, down 11.9 per cent compared with a year ago.

The decline came as the total number of active mortgage loans grew by 1.3 per cent to six million loans, while the average loan value grew by 3.7 per cent to $205,980.

CMHC says the country's total outstanding mortgage balance also rose, up five per cent to $1.23 trillion from the same period a year earlier.

The housing agency says a low national unemployment rate helped temper the number of mortgages left unpaid for 90 days or more.

It found that the number of delinquent loans fell to the lowest point since data became available in 2012. The total value of mortgages unpaid for 90 days or more fell 10.4 per cent to $2.4 billion during the period compared with last year.

The report says those between the ages of 35 to 44 years old had the highest mortgage payments with a monthly average of $1,380.

Mortgage loans accounted for a rising share of total debt at 66.5 per cent, says CMHC.

The average monthly amount of non-mortgage debt, including credit card, car loan, line of credit and home equity line of credit, was $405 for mortgage holders. For non-mortgage holders, the monthly total was $267.

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