Happy New Year! On behalf of the entire CMI team, I’d like to welcome you back and extend warmest wishes to you and your families for a healthy and prosperous year ahead. We hope you had a chance to rest, recharge and enjoy time with friends and loved ones over the holidays.
Remaining resilient in challenging times
Economic uncertainty dominated the mortgage market in 2023. Rising interest rates, soaring inflation, and a cooling housing market were uncharted territory for many investors, brokers, and borrowers. As the uncertainty persisted, shifting regulations, declining affordability, and evolving borrower needs drove strong demand for private financing. By late 2023, private loans accounted for approximately one in every ten Canadian mortgages.
Here at CMI, we saw this demand materialize in our application volumes. As always, we remained focused on risk-adjusted lending, constantly monitoring the market to ensure our lending criteria appropriately reflected prevailing conditions and adjusting as needed. We took a more conservative approach to LTV in certain markets; shortened timelines on appraisals to ensure we are always using the most accurate and up-to-date values; and placed a stronger focus on affordability to ensure we made prudent lending decisions in a challenging market. Once again, we met the unprecedented demand while maintaining the quality of our originations – and protecting the interests of all parties.
The critical and evolving role of mortgage brokers
The vital importance of mortgage brokers becomes pronounced in uncertain times like these. Borrowers once equated a broker’s value with their ability to hunt down the lowest possible rate. No longer. Today’s borrowers value tailored advice as much as – if not more than – an attractive rate as they seek trusted guidance in navigating an increasingly dynamic and complex market.
In the coming year, amid what’s expected to be – at least initially – a sluggish market, relationship building, referrals, and knowledge enhancement will be essential strategies. And as the share of borrowers served by traditional lenders continues to slide, private lending expertise will be increasingly crucial to growing your business. As you set goals for the coming year, consider the role private lending – and CMI in particular – will play in your plan for professional development and business success.
What to expect from CMI in 2024 and beyond
We remain committed to elevating our services, offering innovative solutions, and continuing to be a valuable partner in your business. Looking ahead, we’re focused on:
- Growing and strengthening our partnerships. We continue to explore new partnerships to attract capital across the investor spectrum, from individual to institutional, and to expand our broker community – which is currently more than 12,000 strong – in key markets across Canada.
- Expanding our award-winning roster of experts. We continue to expand our team to serve you better and drive the continuous innovation that fuels our shared success. That includes expanding our team of dedicated Brokerage Relationship Managers (BRMs) to scale our presence in key markets and strengthen our geographical distribution across the country.
- Providing regular market updates and analysis. To help you and your borrower clients navigate the ever-changing financial landscape, we will continue to provide weekly commentary on the economy, financial and housing markets in our Market Monitor, as well as insight on solutions to Canada’s housing crisis in our Housing Affordability Watch.
- Delivering private lending education and awareness. We remain committed to broker education, from webinars and presentations to one-on-one support for specific client situations. Knowledge and education provide a foundation for ensuring the delivery of sound advice and suitability of recommendations.
- Increasing community support. Last year we found new ways to support our communities as well as a variety of causes meaningful to both our employees and our partners. We will continue to expand our focus and increase our support in the year ahead.
This new year presents us with opportunities to redefine our strategies, reinforce our ties, and explore innovative approaches to thrive in a market that demands resilience and adaptability. Together, we will navigate through these uncertain times and emerge stronger.
As always, thank you for your trust and confidence. We’re excited to kick off another year of shared success and partnership with you.
CEO, CMI Financial Group