Canada sees fewer homebuyers but larger mortgage values

The number of mortgages to new owners significantly decreased in 2017, but the average balance of these new mortgages rose, according to recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data.

Better Dwelling reported that a total of 959,074 mortgages to new owners were recorded across the country last year, registering a drop of 6.5% from the numbers posted in 2016.

Canada’s major markets lead the slump. Toronto saw 68,176 mortgages to new owners in 2017, down 8.14% from the year before. Montreal decreased by 3.4%, with only 38,651 mortgages to new owners. Vancouver, meanwhile, had 30,336 mortgages to new owners, posting a 16.31% decline. These cities’ also saw a decrease in loans to new owners in 2016.

While Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo was the only market with over 2,500 new owners to see improvement in figures, it was not that significant, given the overall size of the market. With 5,795 mortgages issued to new owners in 2017, the region was able to log an increase of 2.69% from the past year.

Despite the decrease in numbers, bigger mortgages were logged in Southern Ontario markets during the same period.

Oshawa’s average mortgage to new owners totaled $364,989 in 2017, up 16.59% – the largest gain in the country. On the other hand, the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo region saw a 15.69% rise with an average new owner mortgage of $310,153.

Lastly, the average of Barrie’s new owner mortgage was $321,194, higher by 13.97%.

Looking into the country’s largest markets, moderate changes were observed, except when it came to Toronto.

The capital of of Ontario had an average mortgage to new owners of $472,954 last year, climbing 12.57% from the previous year. Montreal’s average mortgage to new owners peaked at $242,836, up 4.16% from the previous year.

Finally, Vancouver’s average mortgage to a new owner hit $473,382, decreasing 2.97% from the year before.

With these insights, Better Dwelling underscored the importance of new owners’ role in the market. “New owners aren’t often thought of as a large driving force for prices, but this shows they might be.”


More Mortgage Guide