OTTAWA, Ont. (CP) — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. president and CEO Karen Kinsley is stepping down after a quarter century with the provider of mortgage loan insurance.
Kinsley announced the move in what she described as her 10th and final message for CMHC’s annual report and at a time that Ottawa has been moving to reduce taxpayer exposure to housing market debt.
“CMHC has been my home away from home for 25 years and I cannot adequately express how proud I am of our achievements,” Kinsley wrote.
Well Ms Kinsley, I hope you are right, but it is a little early to write your own 'proud' legacy, when we are all time highs in RE and all times highs in tax-payer insured $$. Lets review this in a year or two and see how great the achievements are. I am willing to write a mea culpa if in two years the CMHC is NOT looking at significant losses and agree with you.
Finally it looks like this pig is finally being yanked away from the trough (but can anyone please tell me why they insure multi-residential and retirement homes? These are investments, why not let the private sector insure them?)

CMHC contracts business on cues from Ottawa


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) is continuing to shrink its business, as the government seeks to reduce its exposure to the housing market.

The amount of insurance that the Crown corporation had in force ticked down by $3.5 billion, to $562.6 billion, during the first three months of the year. The figure falls as consumers pay down insured mortgages and rises when CMHC sells new insurance.
CMHC wrote only $8.2 billion worth of insurance during the first quarter, compared to nearly $19 billion in the same period a year ago. The number of units of housing that it insured fell 54 percent, from 114,045 in the first quarter of 2012 to 52,078 in this latest quarter.
The decline comes as the government has forced the Crown corporation to dramatically reduce the amount of bulk, or portfolio, insurance it was selling to banks. Banks can buy bulk insurance to cover large swaths, or portfolios, of mortgages with low loan-to-value ratios (high downpayments) that weren't previously insured.
Mortgage insurance is mandatory when a consumer has a down payment of less than 20 percent, and sales of that core product have also fallen since Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened the mortgage insurance rules last July. The changes that he made, which included cutting the maximum length of an insured mortgage to 25 years from 30, were designed to take some steam out of what he feared might have been an overheating housing market. His changes also effectively eliminated the ability of consumers to refinance high loan-to-value mortgages.

CMHC said that insurance volumes to cover new mortgages fell by about 23 percent, while refinance volumes were down by 69 percent. Bulk or portfolio volumes sunk by about 98 percent.

Meanwhile, the volume of insurance that CMHC sells to cover multi-unit residential buildings (including nursing homes, retirement homes and apartments) rose 5 percent.