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Further 10% growth expected for Canadian mortgage credit in 2007

TORONTO, Ontario, November 08, 2006 — Canadians have every intention of keeping up the feverish pace of mortgage borrowing, adding an expected $78 billion by the end of 2007 to produce a total mortgage credit valued at $808 billion, according to a report released today by the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders (CIMBL). The information was gathered by Pollara in a phone survey in late September and analyzed in conjunction with Canadian housing analyst and CIMBL economist, Will Dunning.

Underpinning this growth in credit is the fact that 88 per cent of Canadians are satisfied with the terms of their mortgages, despite interest rate increases over the last year, as determined by CIMBL’s fall 2006 survey. Also supporting a projected 10 per cent growth in mortgage credit are rising house prices, a booming economy in western Canada and continued high numbers of new housing completions.

“The Canadian mortgage market remains exceedingly robust,” said Paul Grewal, Chairman of the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders. “The housing market remains very active overall in historic terms, setting new record levels of dollar volume sales. In addition, new lenders and mortgage insurers have entered the market increasing Canadians’ options for mortgage products,” Grewal added. “This will continue to fuel the mortgage market.”

The mortgage credit market is a big component of the Canadian economy. Outstanding Canadian mortgage credit was valued at $687 billion, mid-2006 (compared to $617 billion, mid-2005). Canadian mortgage credit is expected to grow by 10.8 per cent in 2006 for a year end total of $730 billion. Further growth of 10.5 per cent is forecasted for 2007 for a Canadian mortgage credit of $808 billion by year end. Approval activity in 2006 will be approximately $197.6 billion (8.5 per cent higher than in 2005). For 2007, approvals are forecasted to exceed $200 billion for the first time at $204.5 billion (3.5 per cent higher than in 2006).

“Competition is certainly a feature that shines through in this survey,” said Grewal. “More Canadians are consulting with mortgage brokers (31 per cent in 2006 vs. 25 per cent in 2005) whether they are taking out a new mortgage, or renewing or refinancing an existing mortgage. The average rate for current mortgage holders is 5.05 per cent – well below posted rates for the major lenders – which suggests that comparison shopping is working to their advantage.”

Residential mortgage lending in Canada is provided by a wide range of institutions. According to the September survey, chartered banks account for approximately three-fifths (59 per cent) of the outstanding residential mortgage credit. The data collected shows that NHA Mortgage Backed Securities have gained 2.0 per cent of the market in the same period.

Ontario accounted for nearly half the residential mortgage approvals in 2005, with 45 per cent of the market. British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec each accounted for more than 10 per cent of the nation’s mortgage activity. When asked if “now is a good or bad time to buy a home in your community”, Alberta and British Columbia were the only two provinces which said most definitely ‘no’ - Alberta: 70 per cent negative vs. 12 per cent positive; B.C.: 45 per cent negative vs. 25 per cent positive. The survey findings show that Canadians as a whole are exceptionally happy (or “comfortable”) with the current state of the housing market and their residential mortgages.

About CIMBL
Established in 1994, the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders (CIMBL) is Canada’s national mortgage industry association. CIMBL has assumed a leadership role in the industry it serves and has set the standard for best practices for Canada’s mortgage practitioners. In 2004, CIMBL created the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation as part of an ongoing commitment to increasing the level of professionalism in Canada’s mortgage industry.

As a membership-based organization, CIMBL strives to develop its network of professionals and to represent the interests of these individuals to government, media and consumers. CIMBL has attracted over 9,500 members and 1,000 companies from across Canada – representing over 90% of Canada’s mortgage activity. CIMBL members make up the largest and most respected network of mortgage professionals in the country. CIMBL's membership base consists of mortgage lenders, brokers, insurers and other industry participants.

CIMBL’s other primary role is that of consumer advocate. On an ongoing basis CIMBL aims to educate and inform the public about the mortgage industry. Through its extensive membership database, CIMBL provides consumers with access to a cross-country network of the industry’s most respected and ethical professionals.

To ensure mortgage professionals are working towards the highest ethical and educational standards, CIMBL will become the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) on May 1, 2007.

In late September and early October 2006, POLLARA conducted a telephone survey with 1,717 Canadians, including homeowners and renters. A sample of 1,717 Canadians ensures an accuracy of + 2.3%, 19 times out of 20.

A copy of the survey is available at www.cimbl.ca

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Andrea Ellison / Myra Reisler Jim Murphy
Media Profile
416.504.8464
andrea@mediaprofile.com
myra@mediaprofile.com

CIMBL
1-888-442-4625
416-385-2333, ext. 31
Cell: 416-940-0011
jmurphy@cimbl.ca

Survey Highlights and Key Findings

Mortgage Satisfaction

Average Canadian Mortgage Rates

Negotiating a Mortgage

Characteristics of the Canadian Residential Mortgage Market

Consumer’s Expectations of the Canadian Housing Market