DEFINITION of 'Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation - CMHC'

A division of the Government of Canada that acts as Canada's national housing agency. The CMHC's mandate is to help Canadians access a variety of affordable housing options. It also researches housing and real estate trends in Canada and around the world, providing research to consumers, businesses and other government divisions. The major activity of the CMHC, and the one for which it is best known, is mortgage loan insurance, which insures approved lenders (such as Canada's chartered banks) against borrower default. Mortgage loan insurance provides approved borrowers access to low-cost mortgage rates. CMHC approved buyers may purchase property with as little as 5% down payment.

BREAKING DOWN 'Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation - CMHC'

One in three Canadians receives some form of help from the CMHC in financing or purchasing a home. The agency also provides valuable financing help to consumers, housing professionals, mortgage financiers, real estate investors and parties interested in learning about the Canadian housing market.

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