Here are some of the stories that caught our eye this week:
CMHC released its quarterly report
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. released their quarterly report this week. Key findings from the report include a 41% decline in the volume of insured mortgages in Canada, an overall decrease in mortgage delinquencies across the nation and an increase in consumer spending growth and residential investment.
The CMHC is also looking into new ways to use data analytics to better detect and prevent mortgage fraud, despite CMHC president Evan Siddall’s insistence that there is no evidence of a widespread mortgage fraud problem in Canada.
Android Pay comes to Canada
This week’s news highlight from the fintech space was the much-awaited arrival of Android Pay to Canada. Android Pay can be used with eligible Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards, as well as Interac debit cards from supported financial institutions. Rollout of the new service took place over this week, and will be made available to devices running Android KitKat 4.4 or higher.
Check out the company’s overview of key Android Pay features for more information.
Toronto family’s reno nightmare sparks outrage (and satire)
When Toronto media producer Catherine Jheon shared her family’s home reno story with Toronto Life, she probably didn’t anticipate the intense public backlash that would follow. Her tale of purchasing a 4000 square foot Parkdale rooming house – and the series of questionable renovation decisions that followed – was met with outcry over the rapid gentrification of a formerly low-income-friendly neighbourhood in Toronto. Torontonians were also incensed over the tactless display of affluence and real estate wealth at a time when many city residents are struggling to find affordable housing. The Toronto Life piece inspired satirical articles from The Beaverton and a tongue-in-cheek GoFundMe page to help “support” the family.
Elsewhere in the neighbourhood, residents are continuing their rent strike against property manager MetCap Living Management, in protest against the poor maintenance and management of their buildings.
The IMF is keeping an eye Canada’s housing and household debt
The International Monetary Fund issued a warning this Wednesday about a possible housing market correction in light of growing levels of debt amongst Canadians. The IMF’s annual review of the Canadian economy called for provincial and federal regulation of housing markets and intervention to stem household debt rates in the country. One suggested action included a reassessment of foreign buyer taxes in Ontario and B.C. to include “a combination of prudential and tax-based measures that discourage speculative activity without discriminating between residents and non-residents.”
These recommendations from the IMF come in the aftermath of recent attempts by the federal government to tighten mortgage lending rules, including expanded stress tests on mortgages. For a comprehensive round-up of recent mortgage rules, check out Ratehub.ca’s overview of the reality of today’s mortgage market.