Data shows homes in Toronto and Vancouver are so expensive many buyers depend on their families to help them meet the minimum downpayments required for purchasing a home.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported Toronto's portion of its insurance portfolio reduced by 50%.“In 2012, Toronto loans made up 10% of all loans insured on CMHC’s books,” CMHC wrote in a submission to the Senate National Finance committee. “In 2023, it fell to 4% of all loans insured. There was no change for Vancouver” at 3%, it added.The figures were tabled at the request of Senator Clément Gignac (QC), who told a September 26 hearing realty was so expensive new homebuyers could not begin to meet minimum requirements for CMHC mortgage insurance. “I get the impression you’re insuring fewer and fewer homes,” said Gignac.“People are having to ask their parents, uncles and grandparents for help with their downpayment,” said Gignac, a former National Bank economist. “In young households starting out, no one has $200,000 and that’s what is needed, $100,000 or $200,000, to become a homeowner. It seems that parents and grandparents are playing the CMHC’s and the government’s role.”According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average home price in Toronto is $1.1 million. It's the second-highest rate, with Vancouver having the highest, where the typical price is currently $1.2 million, showing a 4% increase compared to the previous year.In its submission to senators, CMHC stated its insurance portfolio has decreased by more than 25% across the country over the past ten years.The CMHC has $403 billion worth of insurance in 2023, which is less than the $557 billion it had in 2013. This decrease represents a 28% decline.The numbers include both multi-unit insurance and homeowner mortgage insurance.New data support an April 19 report showing high urban real estate costs led to low participation in a federal equity loan program for new buyers.The First Time Home Buyers Incentive provided new buyers with 10% interest-free equity loans for properties valued at $480,000 or less.Figures were disclosed in an Inquiry of Ministry tabled in the Commons at the request of Conservative MP Richard Bragdon (Tobique-Mactaquac, NB), who asked, “How many applicants have applied for mortgages through the program, by province and municipality?” In Vancouver, only 22 equity loans were approved. In Toronto, a total of 119 loans were approved.In 2019, the Privy Council Office's research found most Canadians viewed the equity loan program as ineffective because it limited eligible purchases to a maximum of $480,000.“That does nothing to address the underlying problems of skyrocketing prices,” said the report, Continuous Qualitative Data Collection on Canadians’ Views.