The number of new mortgages continued higher in 2016 but the share of first-time buyers slipped, CMHC says.
The crown corporation reports that there were just over 1 million new loans in 2016, a 1.4% increase from 2015. Movers accounted for 9.5% of the new mortgages with 39.6% for first-time buyers. The share of new owners was down 1.3%.
Refinance loans increased by 3.8% and CMHC says the growth in this sector in Vancouver and Toronto suggests existing owners are tapping larger amounts of home equity.
Refinancers made up 21.4% of new loans in 2016, amounting to 219,897 mortgages. Renewals of mortgages with a new lender gained 5.2% to 163,128 loans, a 15.9% share.
Multiple mortgage holders accounted for 14% of new loans.
BC and Ontario saw growth in almost all types of loans with refinances the fastest growing category. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador recorded significant declines in the number of loans issued for a purchase; and Quebec saw fewer loans to new owners while owner movers grew moderately.
There were also gains for Manitoba and PEI but the other provinces all recorded fewer mortgage originations.