Here’s what caught our eye this week:
CMHC wants to make mortgage insurance accessible to immigrants and entrepreneurs
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s CEO, Evan Siddall, shared with the media this week that the organization is exploring options to make it easier for immigrants and entrepreneurs to qualify for mortgage insurance. Siddall commented that, under current rules, homebuyers applying for mortgage insurance have to document their income to a level of detail that discriminates against people with gaps in their employment.
The CMHC is is looking into ways to manage the increased risk that comes with providing insurance to these groups. They’re considering modifying the standards for income documentation. Applicants will also likely be required to pay higher premiums. Any changes to the current rules are expected to be announced in the next 6 months.
Are Toronto residents thriving or just surviving?
According to the Toronto Star there’s more evidence pointing to the latter. A report by the Wellesley Institute says that the cost of thriving in the Greater Toronto Area for a single person aged 25-40 is between $46,186 and $55,432 after tax ($57,000 or higher pre-tax). For a minimum wage earner in Toronto, this figure is more than double of what they would make annually.
What does it mean to “thrive” in a city? Researchers note that thriving is defined as being able to afford goods and services that contribute to long-term positive mental and physical health. This includes transportation, personal care, healthcare and professional development costs.
Check out Ratehub.ca’s Expensive Cities survey results to learn more about how people from different demographics spend and save in Toronto.
TREB and StatsCan data releases
The Toronto Real Estate Board released housing data from September 2017 for the GTA. According to their release, looking at year-over-year trends, sales in the GTA decreased by 35 per cent, new listings increased by 9.4 per cent and average selling price increased by 2.6 per cent. The board also reported that detached home sales made up a smaller share of transactions last month. While prices are still on the rise, the rate of increase is slowing notably for all home types except for condos. Both the average and benchmark sale prices for condos increased by over 20 per cent compared to September 2016.
StatsCan also released labour force figures from September 2017. Some interesting labour trends emerged, including an increase in employment rates among Canadians aged 55 and over.