CMHC wants to conceal foreclosure information

The CMHC tends to have some pretty rosy forecasts for the future of Canadas housing market.

But if all is well, why are they now trying to get real estate agents to hide foreclosure status from potential buyers?

After recent stories about deceptive marketing practices, it’s heartening to hear that a group of Realtors in Quebec have raised issues of an ethical breech after the CMHC asked them to conceal foreclosure status on properties for sale.

The Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, which oversees the 12 real estate boards in the province, says it challenged CMHC about the change requiring them not to report on a detail sheet that properties for sale were part of a foreclosure, despite the fact that information is considered mandatory when loaded by brokers onto the selling system of local boards.

“Because the repossession field is currently a mandatory field in the brokerage system you have no choice by to indicate ‘no’, which goes against ethical rules stipulating that real estate brokers are obliged to publish information that is truthful and verified,” the group said in a statement to members.

The two sides resolved the issue by making it no longer mandatory to reflect the foreclosure status of a home, based on the seller’s instructions.

So why does the CMHC not want you to know about foreclosure status? Because then you might be tempted to bid on cold logic rather than emotion.

“Look at what is going on right now in financial institutions and everybody is ratcheting up their loan-loss provisions,” said Ben Rabidoux, a Canadian analyst for California-based Hanson Advisors, a market research firm whose clients are institutional investors. “Everybody expects loan losses to rise. I can’t imagine CMHC is in the dark on that. My suspicion is they want to limit any loss on that hits their books.”

By limiting the information on whether a property is part of foreclosure, the Crown corporation would potentially avoid a situation in which a buyer knows it has to sell. In the United States, foreclosed properties have sold at huge discounts.

Read the full article here.

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Member
/dev/null
2 years 11 months ago

A couple of recent westside price changes:
V980753
6399 CARNARVON ST
Nov 14/12 $849,000 (WTF?)
Nov 19/12 $3,490,000
Current Price $2,980,000 (-15%)
DOM: 105
2012 Assessment: $2,500,000

V974701
2986 21ST AVE W
Sep 26/12 $2,498,000
Dec 27/12 $2,298,000
Current Price $2,198,000 (-12%)
DOM: 154
2012 Assessment: $1,978,000

And a recent sale:
V992622
843 W 20TH AV
Feb 20/13 $1,998,900
Feb 21/13 $1,848,500
DOM: 1!
2012 Assessment: $1,840,000

The 2012 assessments seem to be the price ceiling now, versus the floor that they used to be.

Guest
HAM Solo
2 years 11 months ago

Wow, that didn’t take long, but the CMHC response to the National Post article already released on Twitter. http://www.cmhc.ca/en/corp/nero/2013-02-27.cfm?WT.mc_id=TWT2013_53 Friends, I think this is actually a much bigger story than the Amanda Lee caper. You will see from the letter that the CMHC admits to intervening with the Quebec real estate board to ensure that foreclosures are no longer disclosed. This is nothing less than a cover-up of negative market news being orchestrated by an agency of the Federal Government. Who benefits? A small group of real estate insiders who can act on preferential information relevant to prices. Who loses?… Read more »

Guest
VultureBoy
2 years 11 months ago

The CMHC board should all be fired. Transparency, honesty, reality. Is that too much to ask on what amounts to a lifetime of savings for a middle class Canadian ?!??

As I said in the last thread, we have seen false buyers. Now we have false sellers since they want to hide that it is a CMHC sale.

To do this, the board must be scared s417less.

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 11 months ago

@Short’em High:

CAD monthly is currently on 4-yr support, right when USD monthly is just under 2% from 10-yr resistance. Greetings. I am the other side of your short trade.

Member
2 years 11 months ago

#4 was me.

Guest
Real Life Example
2 years 11 months ago

Last year we were considering buying in Kits and had our eye on V982432 when it was listed for $868,000.

Today it is listed for $699,000. By my simple math we have saved about 20% by waiting. Does that make me want to buy now? Not really. Lets see how low this thing can go.

Anyone who denies that this market is in serious trouble is simply stuck in a loop.

Guest
Groundhog
2 years 11 months ago

@Real Life Example

Looks nice, but I have no desire to live in a townhouse. I wouldn’t buy that for more then 300K personally.

Guest
VultureBoy
2 years 11 months ago

Just wrote to Jim Flaherty. Sick of the CMHC micky mouse board of director bu115h17.

Member
DaMann
2 years 11 months ago

Groundhog

Not to mention that it’s basically a basement suite from what I can tell.

Guest
Crikey
2 years 11 months ago

@HAM Solo:
“A small group of real estate insiders who can act on preferential information relevant to prices”

Exactly. Either *NOBODY* should be allowed to know about foreclosure status (which is downright impossible) or *EVERYBODY* must be clearly told about it.

Otherwise, you have a completely uneven market where a small group of insiders have information that the general public doesn’t have, which gives the insiders huge advantages for negotiations.

How is it the CMHC is getting away with this?

Guest
shriller
2 years 11 months ago

@Crikey, But the insiders won’t be able to purchase at their price since their information will suggest to offer a price below what an outsider will offer. Thus, as long as there is some outsider willing to pay, the insider’s information is not actionable. That said, the outsiders are clearly being hung out to dry. One could have concerns about this …. but CMHC is clearly acting to minimize the expected losses to the taxpayer. Kudos to them for realizing that this is part of their mandate. They certainly haven’t been considering the taxpayer before. I view this as a… Read more »

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 11 months ago

-“or worse yet these nervous buyers during their subject period who were intimidated by ‘friends’ who told them “they were crazy to buy as homes would be far less next year” -“this rebirth of the market has begun and is gaining momentum every day….the active leaders in the market are securing property at great value and will be the envy of those who waited -“so this is my alert for buyers waiting to buy, dust off your shoes because we are entering a blockbuster 2013” http://www.martyhomes.com/Blog.php/team-pospischil-real-estate-winter-newsletter-and-market-update oh Marty, i sincerely hope your clients didn’t listen to you and did listen… Read more »

Guest
phiscal.
2 years 11 months ago

But the insiders won’t be able to purchase at their price since their information will suggest to offer a price below what an outsider will offer. Thus, as long as there is some outsider willing to pay, the insider’s information is not actionable.

Your logic falls apart at ‘outsider willing to pay’. I’ve lived through a down market and believe me, it’s not that all offers are low, its that there aren’t very many people willing or able to pay. An insider would still know which properties are in foreclosure and not bother with the others.

Guest
900kCrackHouse
2 years 11 months ago

I have found CMHC surprisingly defensive and yet responsive. The times I have written them they have come back with quite a long and detailed response. They quite strongly defend their position that “everything is fine”, there is no risk, and they are on top of things.

Time will tell!

Guest
Larry Lou
2 years 11 months ago

Old Larry has found reality, he now states “Serious Price reductions” funny he still has the old crack shack mansion listed for a cool 8.5 million. Seriously that place might sell for 5 million tops, likely 4 million. Jeesh its been on the market for nearly 2 yrs. maybe he could hire Amanda to hype it up!

Guest
Vote Down The Facts
2 years 11 months ago

Whether or not MLS listings are flagged as foreclosures or not doesn’t stop them from becoming foreclosures in the first place. I wonder if the intent here was to stop sites like foreclousego.com from trawling for just those listings?

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

“Just wrote to Jim Flaherty. Sick of the CMHC micky mouse board of director bu115h17.”

It is Diane Finley who is responsible for the CHMC. She has a handy e-mail submission form on her contact page so I used that to request a change of board & no increase in the insurance limit. If you want to contact her you can get to her website through clicking my name…

Guest
shriller
2 years 11 months ago

@ phisical
Sure. That doesn’t make the argument fall apart. Basically you are saying that an insider could purchase a place that an outsider doesn’t know about. But as soon as the offer is in, the seller (or his or her realtor) will broadcast the bid to other possible buyers. There is no incentive for the seller to keep an offer private information. This is where your argument breaks down.

Guest
Short'em High
2 years 11 months ago

@crashcow Says: “…other side of short [CAD]… Wait a few days… FYI, anybody doing this trade is scaling and fading the whipsaw to keep their risk level. Also, not sure what 4yr support you are talking about. Is that the “technical” method you couldn’t believe others weren’t using? CAD was lower last summer than it is now. This is a CAD trade, not a USD index trade. When this trade is fully faded, there should be a good trade in Canadian mortgage and finance equities as Ben suggested. That’s the second leg of the 2 legged ass kicking.

Guest
Short'em High
2 years 11 months ago

[Sorry for the repost. I was hoping to get a reply from @VMD on the last thread, but perhaps @VMD missed my question?] @VMD Says: …Plus we have the ever-reliable paulB stats to do our own analysis… Are these data accumulated somewhere on VCI? Using each of the six standard spreadsheet functions STDDEV, AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, MEDIAN, and MODE on all “new listings” data points ever posted, what values do you get? Those six objectively qualify the notion of a “big” listing day and a record listing day. Obviously, many would like to know an objective answer to the question… Read more »

Guest
phiscal.
2 years 11 months ago

@shriller: who are the ‘other possible buyers’ in your scenario? How does the seller broadcast this information to them?

I’m saying the real issue in a down market with lots of foreclosures would be the lack of ‘other possible buyers’.

Guest
Skook
2 years 11 months ago

Mike Fotiou @ Calgary Real Estate Review offers his take on that Financial Post story and about CHMC ownership and foreclosure.
Here’s the link:

http://calgaryrealestatereview.com/

Guest
Skook
2 years 11 months ago

Just noticed that Mike has offered more info in the “Comment” section after the post – worth reading,too.

Guest
Vulture Fun
2 years 11 months ago

I found this in the comments section of Mick’s FP link: Remaxed-Out whazzup • 5 hours ago “I hardly feel the need to add anything to this or the CMHC story, Whazzup. As you know, my wife and I sold our house last spring, for three times what we bought it for in 1996. Having paid off our mortgage years ago, we are now renting in the same neighbourhood and have conservatively invested close to $1,000,000.00 in dividend paying stocks. While we do own another home, we felt we could not risk losing too much of our equity in real… Read more »

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 11 months ago

Real Life Example Says: “Last year we were considering buying in Kits and had our eye on V982432 when it was listed for $868,000. Today it is listed for $699,000.”

Yikes you were going to buy a basement suite for $868,000? If you want to live below grade just rent one for $900 per month.

Guest
Skook
2 years 11 months ago

Big article appearing today on Bloomberg site:

“Canada Losing Debt Halo as Property Peaks Under Carney”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-27/canada-losing-debt-halo-as-bull-market-housing-peaks-with-carney.html

Vancouver is mentioned, and be sure to read the last paragraph under “Exports Struggle” – makes you wonder what they are smoking in TO. They must love cranes in that city – or they have come to believe those pieces of metal are now their only measure of economic success.

Guest
Terminalcitygrl
2 years 11 months ago

I’m not sure the blame is solely with the CMHC BOD, I’d expect it goes higher, like the PMO. This smells just like Harper micromanaging and no message gets out of GoC these days without his office vetting.

patriotz
Member
2 years 11 months ago

” Today it is listed for $699,000.”

Or for $31K less you can buy this SFH 2 blocks from the beach in San Francisco.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2534-46th-Ave-San-Francisco-CA-94116/15124364_zpid/

VMD
Member
2 years 11 months ago

@19 Short’em
I believe some people on VCI have the daily sales #s from 2010 or even earlier.

I only have daily data from 2011 onwards, with gaps in data filled in via intrapolation/alternate data sources.

I’m not sure if 2 years is enough data to do the Std Dev, mean, avg etc.
Lets see if someone has a more complete set of daily stats.

Otherwise email me at greaterfoolvancouver(at)gmail.com and I’ll send you a direct link to the daily #s of the last 2 years, once I clean up the data (right now not very organized).

paulb
Member
2 years 11 months ago

New Listings 221
Price Changes 83
Sold Listings 102
TI:15678
http://www.paulboenisch.com

Guest
G
2 years 11 months ago

Speaking of Kits townhouse, what happened to that Philip Chan’s Kitlanno townhouse featured on Vancouver housing bublbe?

Guest
Troll Feeder
2 years 11 months ago

I think the competition bureau should have an opinion in this. They’ve gone after the CREA a few times for ‘anti-competitive’ behaviour: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/02/01/competition_bureau_sets_sights_on_industry_associations.html I believe that this move by the CMHC creates a very anti-competitive imbalance in the property market. It would mean that it’s easy for Realtors or those directly involved in the real estate industry to find foreclosed property but it would no longer be easy for the general public to find out which properties are in foreclosure. I also believe it introduces a real risk of a prolonged downturn. The foreclosure process is about finding market value… Read more »

Guest
UBC in Crisis Mode
2 years 11 months ago

Wow, VCI made Garth Turner talk about CMHC today:

http://www.greaterfool.ca/

Member
2 years 11 months ago

“Hoda Seraji is experiencing Vancouver’s housing slowdown firsthand. Seraji blames fading interest from foreign investors, especially in China. Changes to Canada’s mortgage rules have accelerated the sales drop, she says.”

Haha. The downturn is just beginning and the specs & pumpers are already blaming the absence of HAM and easy credit. So much for the “strong fundamentals” they kept touting during the boom!

Makaya
Member
Makaya
2 years 11 months ago

Here is a little abstract form the article I wrote back in April last year. It helps understand why CMHC is so screwed and taking desperate measure to avoid what is inevitable, bankruptcy… It won’t take long for it to happen, unfortunately. These changes have had also a direct effect on CMHC’s balance sheet. Between 2000 and 2010, the amount of mortgages insured by CMHC, which had $11 billion of net assets at the end of 2010, grew from $200 billion to $515 billion, representing about 80% of the mortgage insurance market. In addition, the amount of MBS backed by… Read more »

VMD
Member
2 years 11 months ago

@#32 Not sure if we Made Garth talk about CMHC, but one thing’s likely true, that Garth uses our data: “the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board recorded just 1,666 sales of all properties in the first 26 days of the month, compared with 2,302 during the same time last year” – the 1,666 number is the exact sum of paulB’s daily numbers up until yesterday. As we know, the daily sales numbers slowly add up until very end of day, which explains some discrepency between paulB’s numbers and say, Rob Chipman’s. For Garth to obtain the 1,666 sales Feb data,… Read more »

Guest
Vote Down The Facts
2 years 11 months ago

Not sure how Garth thinks it would affect the bidding process, given the court proceedings where bids are presented to the judge. But I say that having never bought a foreclosure, so perhaps he knows something I don’t.

RaggedyRenter
Member
RaggedyRenter
2 years 11 months ago

Relax guys, we’re different here. Canadians are more conservative than Americans. There’s no subprime, we require downpayments so our buyers are great savers, and people are really rich here. There is no one who’s stretching their finances to buy RE. Besides the Chinese will soon come and 2 bedroom condos in Coquitlam will be $1m soon. sequel138.com “Sequel 138′s Affordable Homeownership (AHO) Model provides the downpayment support that many home purchasers do not have. The equity for the purchase is being provided by Sequel138. Sequel138 will register a 2nd mortgage against the property to secure the loan which will be… Read more »

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 11 months ago

“So why does the CMHC not want you to know about foreclosure status? Because then you might be tempted to bid on cold logic rather than emotion.” No, because CMHC is run by idiots. I actually think having a property advertised as a foreclosure helps market the property. There is a reason there are websites dedicated to this. Everyone wants a good deal on what they buy and a foreclosure sounds like a sale even though it will still go to the highest bidder and must meet a price acceptable to the lender the same as every other property. Having… Read more »

Guest
bust a nut on your face!!!
2 years 11 months ago

It looks like we may not see as crash this spring. 9 moi isn’t high enough for prices to fall like in the where moi was 20-30+. Looks like a slide, so maybe another 6-8% off for the year is this trend continues.

Guest
Nest my butt on your face!
2 years 11 months ago

But these are the high-sale spring months. MOI will almost definitely trend upwards from the end of spring onwards. And this snowball will continue to grow heavier and faster as it rolls ever farther down the hill.

patriotz
Member
2 years 11 months ago

“It helps understand why CMHC is so screwed and taking desperate measure to avoid what is inevitable, bankruptcy…”

Bailout, not bankruptcy. CMHC’s obligations are guaranteed by the taxpayer.

Guest
Keeping An Eye On The Pimps
2 years 11 months ago

CMHC Control to Major MAC

Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong

Can you hear me, Major Brenda?
Can you hear me, Major Cam?
Can you hear me, Major Muir?
Can you….

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 11 months ago

No crash last spring. No crash this spring. Wait till next year again?

Guest
Democrass
2 years 11 months ago

“No crash last spring. No crash this spring. Wait till next year again?”

So you were the guy saying the same thing in the USA in years one and two of their crash. :)

Member
2 years 11 months ago

There is no need to feel like a victim by the CMHC, instead… I filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau of Canada today against the CMHC. This can be done easily online http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/home I encourage you all to do so: I listed Karen Kinsley, CEO of CMHC as the person I was filing a complaint against. My letter: To the relevant individuals in your organization, A home sale in Canada is effectively a business transaction in which each home seller and each home buyer strive for a fair competitive price. Tampering of such systems should fall under your jurisdiction… Read more »

Guest
Anonymous
2 years 11 months ago

…..This smells just like Harper micromanaging and no message gets out of GoC these days without his office vetting….

Especially true given the the uptick in cattle mutilations and the increase in importation of tin foil chapeaus.

Guest
gondola
2 years 11 months ago

@real_professional: filed a complaint as well. thanks for the instructions.

Guest
Many Franks
2 years 11 months ago

Welcome back, Vancouver Condo Info! You’re missing the fun over at Whispers from the Edge of the Rainforest.

Member
JD
2 years 11 months ago

Why so many problems with the site?

Some ruffled feathers?

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