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This week in real estate, why relying on your house for retirement is a bad idea.DAN KIRCHNER/Supplied

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.

CIBC ordered by banking regulator to fix its mortgage underwriting lapses

CIBC has been under remediation orders from Canada’s banking regulator for more than a year after an audit of its mortgage portfolio uncovered breaches of rules that limit how indebted borrowers can be, James Bradshaw, Tim Kiladze, and Stefanie Marotta reported this week.

Thousands of clients are affected, many of whom had lines of credit that were secured against their homes. When these lines were combined with a mortgage, the total credit exceeded the acceptable thresholds for total debt obligations relative to their home’s value or their income.

Soaring rents are unaffordable for solo seniors, so one Ontario woman fought back

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Pat Dunn, creator of the Senior Women Living Together, a website to help build a community of single seniors looking to share housing costs.Cole Burston/The Globe and Mail

Pat Dunn, a 73-year-old retired public-health nurse, could not afford rent on her income after her husband died in 2014. Going into debt every month as she tried to keep a modest roof over her head, she decided to create a network for senior women in Ontario that helps them find roommates to share housing costs. Her story is one of resourcefulness and hope, but also documents the alarming extent of our rental crisis, writes Rob Carrick.

This week’s mortgage rates: The uptrend in rates continues

Once again, Robert McLister’s report is that fixed rates climbed this week.

Fortunately, most of the country’s leading fixed rates only jumped by five basis points this time. (One basis point is one-one hundredth of a percentage point.) One flagrant exception was the one-year fixed. The leading lenders in that department boosted pricing by a whopping 20 to 25 basis points.

Want a bad plan for retirement? Rely on your house

Home ownership has many virtues, but it doesn’t take care of your retirement, Carrick writes in his weekly newsletter. Canadians believe their home will pay for retirement, and that idea seems even more entrenched among younger people.

Here are the flaws in this reasoning, Carrick says: The easiest ways to access equity in a home is through a HELOC or a reverse mortgage, both of which carry hefty interest rates. Downsizing is another way to unlock home equity, but you have to move somewhere substantially cheaper and not spend a lot of money fixing it up.

Home of the week: A panoramic view of the Gulf Islands

  • 630 Tinker Rd., Mayne Island, B.C.DAN KIRCHNER/Supplied

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630 Tinker Rd., Mayne Island, B.C

The house sits on a mountaintop 500 feet above sea level in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands on 52 acres of forested land. The panoramic views from inside the house take in the Gulf Islands and the water to the south, while the natural landscape surrounds the house to the north.

The 2,829-square-foot house features three bedrooms, concrete floors and white walls. There’s also a separate guest cottage with 661 square feet of living space.

Guess the price

What do you think is the asking price for this house?
a. $1,895,000
b. $2,995,000
c. $4,495,000
d. $5,395,000

a. The asking price is $4,495,000.

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