The number of new mortgages insured by the CMHC fell sharply in the first quarter of 2017 as new lending restrictions made an impact.

In its quarterly report, the corporation said that it insured 48,746 home loans, down from almost 83,000 in the same period of 2016, a 41 per cent decline. Insured homeowner loans were down from 24,162 to 18,624, down 23 per cent; portfolio insurance was down 87 per cent to 4,662 units.

CMHC’s total insurance in-force was $502 billion, well below its legislated limit of $600 billion.

The quality of the corporation’s insured loans continued to show improvement with an average value of $260,826 and credit score of 751. Average gross debt service ratio was 26.9 per cent and average total debt service ratio was 36.6 per cent.

The average share of equity in homes with CMHC mortgage insurance was 35.2 per cent while the overall arrears rate was 0.32 per cent.

The report also shows that $1.5 billion was provided by CMHC for government housing programs and that the corporation’s net income from its mortgage insurance operation was $370 million.

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