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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- 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 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 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.