CMHC outlines plans to collect foreign data

by |
by Katia Dmitrieva

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s housing agency is considering ways to collect more data on foreign investment as home prices continue to surge in Toronto and Vancouver.

"It’s clear that we need to capture more detailed information on foreign investment, to better inform the Canadian government and housing market participants," Evan Siddall chief executive officer of the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said in the text of a speech delivered in Toronto. "A lack of accurate and reliable data makes it difficult to determine if or how foreign investment may be affecting the market. Most of the available information is anecdotal. And the problem is that many foreign investors may prefer to hide their ownership."

Foreign investment may be more likely to leave a market quickly, increasing capital volatility, he said.

Options the Ottawa-based agency is considering include getting information from local realtors, developers and land registry offices on annual residential sales to foreign buyers for both homes and condominium units.
  • Anthony C. on 2015-11-11 12:51:59 PM

    To what end is the CMHC going to use this information...? Will it be for simple data collection or for a real world application which if shared with the proper authorities, could actually effect a much needed tempering down of market values.

    Its been confirmed over and again that the insatiable appetite of deep-pocketed asian buyer's investment into the BC mainland has been the key factor in driving up real estate values in that region...should the information gathered not be shared with the CRA, then in my opinion, it will have been a wasted effort.

    If the public wants to see real estate laws regarding foreign ownership rules enforced, as such similar domestic laws are traditionally applied to homeowners of Canadian citizenship, then by all means, give the CRA bloodhounds a bone to chew on...then we might have a whiff of some enforcement occurring.

    I personally cannot fathom how we are expected to give credibility to a story that a college student on a study Visa, or a wife with no gainful employment can be allowed to be on title to not just one, but several properties valued in the millions, with large mortgages in some cases to boot, and still avoid capital gains or foreign ownership tax holdback rules when the properties are flipped/sold. And I cannot believe the CRA would sit idly by if they had this information at their I the only one with this opinion...?

    The unfortunate reality is we are fighting a rigged game...and the devil is in the details. The RBC reduces the mortgage cap on residential mortgages to foreign buyers, and the Feds wont do a thing about it...and why you ask...its because the feds borrow billions of dollars a year from the big banks at almost zero interest...and the banks are then given space to do what is in their best interest.

Broker news forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions