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CMHC expects total of outstanding insured loans to dip compared with 2013

OTTAWA - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says it expects its total outstanding insured loan amounts to dip this year compared with 2013.

The federal agency's total insurance in force was $557.1 million last year.

In its annual report released Monday, CMHC said it expected that amount to fall to $544.8 billion in 2014, its lowest level since 2010.

CMHC's total outstanding insured loan amounts cannot exceed $600 billion.

The agency is the country's largest insurer of home mortgages.

Last month, CMHC moved to tighten the home mortgage market with changes that will make it more difficult for some Canadians to obtain government-secured financing.

As of May 30, it will no longer insure purchases by self-employed workers without third party income validation, and will offer no insurance to Canadians seeking to purchase a second property.

Rate hikes announced by CMHC earlier this year also went into effect last week, raising the amount it charges to insure mortgage loans by an average of 15 per cent.

Financial institutions generally require mortgage loan insurance for buyers making a down payment of less than 20 per cent. The insurance protects the lenders from defaults, but the costs usually are paid by the borrowers.

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