CMHC CEO’s plea with Canadian lenders

The head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has called on the country’s banks to avoid giving risky mortgages to highly-leveraged households, saying that unwarranted lending will further destabilize the economy. In an Aug. 10 letter, Evan Siddall, the chief executive officer at CMHC, said the agency’s ability to protect the mortgage market in the event of a crisis has been weakened due to restrictions it imposed on high-risk borrowers last month. The letter has sparked debate among mortgage industry experts, with former RBC CEO Gord Nixon calling it out for being a bit “extreme and alarmist” in a BNN Bloomberg interview.

Is Canadian real estate nearing a watershed moment?

The CMHC’s plea with Canada’s banks has CTV’s Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid warning those who are highly-leveraged to avoid the temptation of the housing market. “The alarm bells are ringing,” she says. She also cautions lenders that by focusing on short-terms gains, there can be unintended consequences on the long-term economic recovery of the country. “While the country’s housing market has remained robust throughout the pandemic, you have to wonder if the real estate market moved too far too fast given the realities of the current economic situation,” she says.

Key mortgage rate eases

The Bank of Canada has slashed its benchmark five-year mortgage rate to 4.79 per cent, the lowest level in three years. This marks the second cut the central bank has made in the past three months. Canada’s Big Six banks have already cut their five-year fixed mortgage rates to the same level, though some have moved even lower.

How to save for retirement as a part-time worker

As COVID-19 lockdowns ease, many companies are looking to rehire workers. However, most of the positions filled so far have been in part-time jobs. Nora Loreto of the Canadian Freelance Union told BNN Bloomberg the main concern for part-time workers is not having a company pension plan. Personal finance experts Jamie Golombek and Mia Karmelic weigh in with their best advice for workers without a full time-job who are looking to build a nest egg.

Canadian homeowners spent $80B on renovations last year

Canadians seeking to revamp their homes spent $80.1 billion on renovations in 2019, according to a new report from Altus Group. The real estate data firm said earlier this week that home renovation spending outpaced overall economic growth in 2019, increasing by 2.6 per cent. Despite this boon in spending, Altus Group expects the COVID-19 pandemic will negatively impact home renovation expenditure in 2020, forecasting a 5.2-per-cent drop after country-wide shutdowns destabilized the economy. However, Altus Group expects a strong comeback in 2021 due to falling five-year mortgage rates and decreased rates on home equity lines of credit.

Days of tipping may be fading

Restaurants looking to improve their employees' work situation amid the pandemic may want to get rid of one of the industry’s “sacred cows”: Tipping. Some Toronto restaurants are doing away with the practice in order to be more equitable among staff, and to also give workers access to social safety nets, according a report from The Canadian Press. However, getting rid of tipping may have its drawbacks, with some servers saying standardized the practice could lead to restaurant service becoming “a less personal experience.”

Recession leads to big money mistakes for young investors

For many young people, the COVID-19 pandemic is the first time they've borne the brunt of a recession. While it's still unclear what the ultimate aftershocks of COVID-19 will be, it's easy for inexperienced investors to make some inadvisable decisions under these conditions. Bloomberg News' Erin Lowry lines up tips from financial planners on common money mistakes to avoid during a downturn.

If you deferred your mortgage, you might want to check your credit score

Canadians who have had to defer their mortgage payments due to the pandemic may be wise to keep an eye on their credit report. While deferred payments alone don't harm credit scores, making sure they're reported correctly may save you headaches in the future, according to a report from The Canadian Press. “Even one false late payment can drop a credit score by as much as 150 points,” Borrowell's Eva Wong says in the report. Wong advises people to correct these errors as soon as possible, noting the longer they persist, the bigger the negative impact is going to be.


“If your income has been reduced due to the pandemic this year, postponing your [RRSP] claim to next year, or any year in the future when your income is higher, will likely result in bigger tax savings.” – Personal Finance Columnist Dale Jackson on why some Canadians should skip their RRSP contribution claim in 2020