In this section, we take a look at the opinions of refinancers on the mortgage refinancing process and homeownership.

Refinancers account for 15% of this year’s respondents.

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demographics

  • 24% are Gen X (35-44 years old) and 35% are Baby Boomers (55 + years old).
  • 54% are married.
  • 61% are employed full-time, 7% are self-employed, and 17% are retired.
  • Refinancers, along with repeat buyers, represent the highest proportion of self-employed mortgage consumers.
  • 72% owned a single-detached home.
  • 23% have a household income of $60k – $90k.
  • The main reason for refinancing is to consolidate debt, followed by to fund home improvements.

Researching mortgage-related information

  • Of all mortgage consumer segments, Refinancers are most likely to conduct offline research only.
  • Most use a computer to access online mortgage-related information.
  • The top actions conducted online include using an online mortgage calculator and comparing interest rates.
  • About half indicated they would feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction; however, face-to-face interaction is still rated as important.
  • On average, Refinancers contact 2.2 brokers and 2.6 lenders.

Broker experience

  • Broker share decreased slightly amongst Refinancers between March 2017 and March 2018.
  • Most found their broker as a result of a recommendation or broker website.
  • The main reason for using a broker was to get the best rate or deal.
  • Refinancers would have liked more info on mortgage or purchase fees, types of mortgages and closing costs.
  • 68% of Refinancers were satisfied with their broker.

Lender experience

  • Lender loyalty has decreased slightly amongst Refinancers between March 2017 and March 2018.
  • When asked how they found their lender, almost half of Refinancers indicated that it was their primary lending institution.
  • Besides a better interest rate, a top reason for staying with their lender is: trust in the existing relationship, while a top reason for switching is: better product terms/conditions.
  • Refinancers using a lender would have wanted more information on types of mortgages and interest rates.
  • 79% of Refinancers were satisfied with their mortgage lender.

Mortgage features and related costs

  • Most Refinancers obtained a mortgage loan only, fixed interest rate, a 5-year renewal term and 25-year amortization period.
  • Almost 1/3 of Refinancers indicated their current level of debt, including their mortgage, is higher than expected.
  • More than 1/4 of Refinancers do not have a monthly budget.
  • More than 3/4 are renovating or plan to renovate in the next 5 years.
  • 27% of Refinancers did not know their renovation costs could be incorporated into their mortgage.

Confidence and understanding of mortgage process and mortgage management behaviors

  • 73% believe the value of their house will increase in the next twelve months.
  • 69% felt they were generally comfortable with their current level of mortgage debt.
  • 63% indicated that, if they were to run into some financial trouble, they would have other sufficient assets (investments, other property, etc.) which could be used to supplement their needs.
  • 80% believe that homeownership is a good long term financial investment.
  • 74% felt emotionally attached to their home.

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Date Published: October 18, 2018