Quebec has the highest concentration of total CMHC mortgage carryovers in the country, with 27%, followed by Alberta with 26% and Ontario with 21%.
Here’s how the other provinces ranked as an approximate percentage of total carryovers:
- B.C.: 7%
- Saskatchewan: 5%
- New Brunswick: 5%
- Manitoba 4 percent
- Nova Scotia: 3%
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 2%
- P.E.I .: 0
So far, about 12% of mortgage holders have chosen to defer payments, said Evan Siddall, President and CEO of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in Ottawa, Tuesday.
Not only that, Siddall warned: almost 20% of Canadians with CMHC-insured mortgages could be forced to delay payments until September due to the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.
CMHC is the crown corporation that supports the vast majority of the Canadian housing market by securing the loans that finance it.
Siddall said increasing the number of carryovers could cause big problems for the economy.
“Just as governments are taking on more debt to finance the response to COVID-19, mortgage deferrals add to already historic levels of household debt,” the statement said.
CMHC also plans to drop the average home price from 9% to 18% over the next 12 months, said Siddall.
“The resulting combination of higher mortgage debt, lower house prices and rising unemployment is a concern for Canada’s long-term financial stability,” he said.
He said a team is working at CMHC to help manage what he has called a “carry-over cliff” of impending debt – when some unemployed workers will have to start paying back their mortgages.
Siddall said the agency must now take action to avoid exposing young people – and Canadian taxpayers – to the large losses that result from falling house prices.
“So we are assessing whether we should modify our underwriting policies in light of these market conditions,” Siddall told the committee.
“Our support for home ownership cannot be unlimited. Homeownership is like high blood pressure: you can have too much. “
Siddall said the agency will take steps to limit its underwriting policies to curb excessive borrowing, as well as promote urgent measures to accelerate the supply of rental housing.
“CMHC has already taken steps to accelerate the flow of funds through the National Housing Strategy, which is very focused on creating more affordable rental housing for Canadians. “The federal government is contributing billions of dollars to housing, as well as the provinces and territories.”