Strong Canadian Mortgage Market Depends Less on Sub Prime Products than U.S.

    TORONTO, March 15 /CNW/ - Canada's mortgage market is a picture of
health, in contrast to concerns in the United States generated by the
weakening sub prime mortgage market, the Canadian Association of Accredited
Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), said today in a statement. Canada is helped by
the fact that:

    -   The sub prime market makes up 5 per cent or less of all outstanding
        mortgages in Canada; in the US the total sub prime mortgage market is
        closer to 20 per cent
    -   The overall arrears rate on mortgages in Canada remains at or near
        record lows of less than 0.5 per cent
    -   The mortgage market has not been using Option ARMs (Adjustable Rate
        Mortgages) for sub prime borrowers popular in the US; lenders qualify
        mortgages with consideration for payment variation which has not been
        the practice in the US
    -   Canadian underwriting practices are more prudent as we have not been
        focused on a market share war for the sub prime business
    -   Canada has not seen as rapid home price appreciation nor speculative
        investing when compared to the US
    -   Canada is experiencing strong employment with  relatively low
        interest rates along with high consumer confidence

    While new mortgage lenders and products have been introduced in Canada
over the last few years, to provide borrowers more options in a rising cost
environment, the Canadian mortgage market is different from that of the US.
The vast majority of mortgages are amortized over 25 years or less with nearly
two thirds of mortgages set at fixed rates with the five year period being the
most common.
    "The Canadian mortgage market also differs from the US in other ways - we
have not seen the aggressive lending practices common south of the border"
stated Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP),
Chairman Paul Grewal, AMP. Added Jim Murphy, CAAMP's President & CEO, "It is
important to note the continued strength and stability of the mortgage and
housing markets in Canada."

    About CAAMP
    The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) is
the new name for the former Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders
(CIMBL) which was established in 1994 as Canada's national mortgage
association. CAAMP has assumed a leadership role in the industry it serves and
has set the standard for best practices for Canada's mortgage practitioners.
In 1994, CIMBL created the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation
as part of an ongoing commitment to increasing the level of professionalism in
Canada's mortgage industry.
    CAAMP has attracted near 10,000 members and over 1,000 companies from
across Canada - representing 90% of Canada's mortgage activity. CAAMP members
make up the largest and most respected network of mortgage professionals in
the country. CAAMP's membership base consists of mortgage lenders, brokers,
insurers and other industry participants.

For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview, please contact:
Myra Reisler, Media Profile, (416) 342-1829,; Jim
Murphy, President & CEO, CAAMP, (416) 385-2333 X31, (416) 940-0011 (cell)

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