The experience of Canada in the first half of this century indicates that the importance of institutional mortgage lending for the growth of homeownership can be overstated. Home ownership rates in Canada and the United States were similar, but many fewer Canadians than Americans relied on lending institutions. Fewer incurred debt of any sort. A case study of Hamilton, Ontario, based on land titles records indicates that this was especially true during the interwar years. No Canadians lived in large metropolitan areas, where mortgage debt was most prevalent, while many built in stages as their finances allowed. Moreover, even in the early 1950s, half of all residential mortgage debt in Canada was held by private individuals, with brokers playing an important role. Despite the importance of the personal sector, above all in the markets for older homes and junior mortgages, the Canadian government made no effort to improve the way in which it operated.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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