TORONTO — Canadian mortgage debt rose in May at the fastest annual rate in three years, boosted by a jump in property sales and record levels of mortgage payment deferrals due to the coronavirus pandemic, data from the national housing agency showed.
Mortgage debt rose 6 per cent year-over-year in May, the fastest pace since July 2017, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said in an annual report on the residential home loan industry.
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CMHC has been warning about excessive household borrowing as it forecast a drop of as much as 18 per cent in home prices despite a recent recovery in the market. In July, it tightened underwriting standards for riskier borrowers.
The rise in mortgage debt origination was helped by higher pre-pandemic home sales, for which closing dates were set into the spring months and mortgages extended in the second quarter, CMHC said.