CMHC outlines plans to collect foreign data

CMHC outlines plans to collect foreign data

CMHC outlines plans to collect foreign data 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.