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This Week’s Top Stories: The Canadian Government Wonders How You Got That Mortgage, and US Real Estate Has Finally Recovered

This Week’s Top Stories - The Canadian Government Wonders How You Got That Mortgage, and US Real Estate Finally Recovered

Here’s your weekly cheat sheet on the most important stories in real estate.

Canadian Real Estate

The Government Of Canada Just Pointed Out The Mortgage Market Might Be A Cesspool

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is a little concerned about how you got that mortgage. Mobile Mortgage Specialists (MMS) meet you wherever, to discuss taking out a mortgage. Some banks now get over 90% of their mortgages from this channel. Great for the banks, but it may not be the best news for borrowers.

The government is worried MMS receive incentives to increase sales, with little supervision. These incentives turn MMS into commission only salespeople, that have little reason to present consumers with the best options. Combine this with “insufficient controls,” and you have salespeople instead of mortgage specialists. This brings concerns that consumer interests are secondary to commissions.

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Canadian Real Estate Offices See Largest Decline In Output Since 2008

Canadian real estate offices are seeing a big decline in output, helping to drop GDP numbers. GDP reached $1.760 trillion in February, a 0.12% decline from the month before. The output of real estate agents and brokers represented $10.03 billion of those dollars, a 12.75% decline from the month before. The decline for the industry is the largest single month decline since November 2009.

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Canadians Seeking Early Intervention From Bankruptcy Spikes To A New January Record

The good news? Less Canadians are filing for bankruptcy. The bad news? They’re filing for a more mild form of insolvency. Total insolvencies in Canada reached 9,308 filings in January, a 2.93% increase from last year. Consumer proposals, a form of early intervention from full blown bankruptcy, reached 5,327 filings. The rise in proposals is the largest annual rise in bankruptcy for January, in over 5 years.

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Impaired Mortgages Soar At Canadian Banks, As “Standardized” Reporting Hits

Dollar volumes of impaired mortgages are spiking at Canadian banks, but it’s not what you think. A new accounting standard called International Financial Reporting Standard 9 (IFRS-9) was adopted in the most recent quarter. The new standard automatically includes securitized mortgages after 90 days of non-payment. Previously CMHC securitized mortgages were not included in these numbers, until 365 days of non-payment. The result is numbers are spiking, but most likely due to the inclusion of these mortgages. Not necessarily a spike in new defaults.

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US Real Estate

12 Years Later, US Real Estate Prices Have Finally Recovered From The Great Recession

It’s been 12 years since US real estate prices last peaked, and they’ve finally recovered from the Great Recession. The S&P Case Shiller 20 City Index shows a reading of 207.4%, a 6.34% increase from last year. This is the first time we’ve passed the peak in 2006, and the increase took 77% longer than the previous climb. Despite the slower climb, the rise is still considered to be extremely fast when you crunch the numbers.

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Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate Prices Get First Annual Broad Market Decline Since 2009

Greater Toronto real estate prices made the first annual decline in a very long time. The benchmark price of a composite home reached $760,800 in March, a 1.5% decline compared to the year before. Despite being higher than the month before, this is the first annual decline since 2009.

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