Leading economist calls out government on lack of information about mortgage market

Financial Post | Business

TORONTO/OTTAWA • Economists love data, the more data the better, in fact.

More data on Canada’s mortgage market, for example, wouldn’t have prevented a U.S.-style housing crash, but it certainly would have helped many avoid some major pitfalls.

CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal can rattle off a string of missing datapoints:

“What was the dollar value of new mortgages originated in Canada in the last quarter? What is the credit score distribution of mortgage credit in Canada? What is the share of non-conforming loans in the Canadian landscape? What is the delinquency rate of those non-conforming loans? What is the trend in re-financing and pre-payments? What is the net equity position of new and existing mortgages? What is the flow of rental activity in the country? What is the share of foreign investors in the condominium market? What is the average down payment?”

Mr. Tal, in a report issued…

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