Insured mortgage arrears on the rise - CMHC

Insured mortgage arrears have seen greater incidence in Alberta and Saskatchewan as of the end of June, according to fresh data released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

In Alberta, the number of insured loans that are at least 90 days late in payment stood at 1,487 in June, up from 978 the same month last year. Meanwhile, late payments for mortgages in Saskatchewan rose from 392 to 529 in the same time frame, CBC News reported.

However, despite these increases, CMHC noted that the national delinquency rate in Q2 2016 was affected by significant declines in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec, actually dropping from 0.34 per cent a year ago to 0.32 per cent. This translated to nearly 1,000 fewer delinquencies on a year-over-year basis, down to 8,386 as of the end of June.

“Our net income is stable, insured volumes are up and the overall arrears rate remains low,” CMHC chief financial officer Brian Naish noted in a statement.

“That said, we continue to monitor housing markets closely due to weaker economic conditions in parts of the country.”

CMHC—which carries over 2.6 million loans in Canada and $523 billion of mortgage insurance business—posted $338 million in net income for Q2 2016. On the whole, home buyers who benefit from CMHC-insured mortgaged have an average credit score of 750.

In a bid to manage the rapidly overheating national housing market, the Government of Canada has in recent months taken steps like implementing a 10 per cent down payment on any CMHC-insured mortgages worth $500,000 and above, as well as lowering the requirement that insured mortgages be amortized for a maximum of 25 years.

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