OTTAWA -- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says its net income increased to a more normalized rate in the first quarter as the country's economy continued to modestly improve.
The country's largest mortgage insurer says it earned $394 million for the three months ending March 31, up from $293 million in the same period a year earlier and compared with $370 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Revenue totalled $1.48 billion, down six per cent from $1.58 billion last year. The decrease is largely attributable to lower government funding and a net gain from a significant rebound in equity markets.
The agency says economic growth is still expected to pick up but with "less momentum than previously projected" as gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase 1.5 per cent this year and by 1.7 per cent in 2020.
CMHC says it invested $777 million on behalf of the government to create and support housing for low- and middle-income Canadians, down from $1.02 billion a year ago, provided mortgage insurance for more than 39,000 homes and provided $39 billion in guarantees through mortgage funding activities.
Overall arrears were at a rate of 0.3 per cent. The typical CMHC insured borrower had, on average, 7.6 per cent equity and a purchase price of $284,164.
It also declared a dividend of $505 million payable to its shareholder, the federal government, which was more than offset by $575 million of comprehensive income.