Brokers: CMHC refocus is misguided

Brokers: CMHC refocus is misguided

Brokers: CMHC refocus is misguided Brokers have had time to let Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) recently announced priority shift to sink in and while some laud the crown corporation’s efforts, others believe it should address more pressing concerns.

“I think the problem with the CMHC is that they fund too many conventional mortgages; if they were to stop funding those it would free up a lot of capital and they could focus on the business for self and new to Canada programs,” Bruce Smith of Centum Future Mortgage Group told

CMHC CEO Evan Siddell told the Globe and Mail Monday that he will be shifting the priority of the crown corporation to focus on helping Canadians buy homes they need and not the more extravagant homes they may desire.

Smith believes the CMHC’s decision to scale-back its offerings and concentrate its focus is prudent; however, he believes they aren’t focusing on scaling back in the right areas.

“It’s misguided logic; they aren’t thinking it all through and they haven’t figured out the cause and effect,” he said. “They’re looking at the short-term and not the big picture.”

And the recent news has dredged up an oft-discussed point of contention with one broker operating in a smaller Canadian market.

“I think it’s a good move but here’s the caveat: the decisions they make are based on a national average … when they make a blanket policy it has a great effect on smaller markets,” Brent Irving of Dominion Lending Centre Leading Edge told “There is no national housing market; for example they aren’t going to insure homes over $1 million and in West Vancouver there are no homes for less than $1 million.”

Irving, who operates within the lower-mainland area of British Columbia says he would prefer the crown corporation made region-specific policy changes – taking each market’s home prices and other factors into consideration -- instead of sweeping tweaks across the country.