There are a variety of reasons why Canadian homeowners refinance their mortgage. Simply put, refinancing means renegotiating an existing mortgage loan agreement. This year, refinancers accounted for 15% of respondents to CMHC’s Mortgage Consumer Survey.

The main reason for refinancing was to consolidate debt, followed by to fund home improvements. Here’s more of what we learned about refinancers, powered by the 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey:

  • 24% are Generation Xers (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% own a single-detached home
  • 23% have a household income of $60,000 – $90,000

Refinancers do go online to use a mortgage calculator and compare interest rates. Still, they’re the mortgage consumer segment most likely to conduct offline research only. About half indicated they’d feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction. However, face-to-face interaction was still rated as important.

Broker and lender share remained relatively stable among refinancers. Sixty-eight percent were satisfied with their broker and 79% were satisfied with their lender. When asked what type of additional information they’d have liked to receive from their mortgage professionals, the top answers were: information about mortgage or purchase fees, types of mortgages, closing costs and interest rates.

Almost one third of refinancers indicated that their current level of debt, including their mortgage, is higher than expected. Additionally, more than one quarter don’t have a monthly budget. Still, 69% are comfortable with their current level of mortgage debt. What’s more, 63% indicated that if they run into financial difficulty, they have other assets (investments, other property, etc.) they can use to help meet their needs.

Refinancers also showed significant confidence in homeownership. A full 80% believe that homeownership is a good long-term financial investment and 74% feel emotionally attached to their home.


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Date Published: November 15, 2018