Let’s remember how we got here:
• Prior to 1999 you needed 10% for a mortgage and that mortgage had a maximum amortization of 25 years. CMHC also had limits on how much you could buy with their insurance.
• Just after 1999 CMHC lowered the down payment to 5% with price limits on how much they would insure depending on the area. Amortizations were still 25 years. There would be no price limit on what they would insure if 10% or more was put down.
• By Sept. 2003 CMHC allowed 5% down on 25 yr amortizations but they removed all price ceiling limitations. Now any mortgage would be insured regardless of the value of home purchased.
• In March 2004 CMHC began allowing Flex-Down products which permitted the 5% down to be borrowed and 1.5% closing costs to be borrowed (essentially zero down, but 95% insured.
• In March 2006 you had 0% down, 30 yr amortizations. This became 0% down, 35 yr amortizations later in the year. Interest only payments were allowed for 10 years.
• In November 2006 CMHC began allowing 0% down, 40 yr amortizations along with interest only payments for 10 years.
• Canadian banks ramped this up by allowing up to 7% cash back offers if you would take on a mortgage with them. You could basically get paid if you bought a house.
• Not only were the rules surrounding the granting of money loosened, but CMHC’s cap for granting mortgages grew from $100 Billion in 2006 to almost $600 Billion today.
– this fine summary from ‘golden_boy’ at VCI 11 Jun 2013 7:40am