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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released today its annual Mortgage Consumer Survey (MCS). The largest survey of its kind, the MCS has been conducted since 1999 and provides insight into the behaviours, attitudes and expectations of Canadians when they acquire, renew or refinance a mortgage.

In April 2018, CMHC completed an online survey of 4,000 recent mortgage consumers, all prime household decision makers who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. Sixty-eight percent had renewed their mortgage, 15% had refinanced their mortgage, and 16% had purchased a home with mortgage financing (9% first-time buyers and 7% repeat buyers). Total results were weighted to reflect the actual proportion of households in each region.

Transcript

Foreground: Carla Staresina, Vice-President, Client Relationship Management

Background: Library setting, library shelving

Carla Staresina: “Shopping for a mortgage can be overwhelming so the more information you have, the better your experience. We’ve expanded our survey to give us greater detail on what Canadians want when looking for a mortgage and how they go about the process. We also now have more insight into important groups like millennials and first time buyers. Ultimately, our hope is to help Canadians get the most out of the mortgage shopping experience.”

Survey Highlights:

  • When compared to other factors such as type of neighbourhood, proximity to work and overall condition of the home, almost twice as many first-time buyers reported price/affordability as being the most important factor when buying a home.
  • While decreasing steadily for four consecutive surveys, more than one-third (37%) of home buyers continue to feel concern or uncertainty when buying a home.  Concerns related to affordability top the list with more than 50% of concerned buyers worrying about paying too much for their home while nearly one-third worry about rising interest rates and mortgage qualification.
  • Eighty-five per cent of first-time buyers spent the most they could afford on their home purchase.  However, a majority (76%) are confident that they will be able to meet their future mortgage payment obligations. 
  • Sixty per cent of first-time buyers and 69% of repeat buyers indicated that, if they were to run into some financial trouble, they would have sufficient assets (investments, other property, etc.) to supplement their needs.
  • About 50% of home buyers agreed that they would feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction. With that said, the majority still agree that it is important to meet face-to-face with their mortgage professional when negotiating and finalizing their mortgage.
  • Just over half (52%) of homebuyers were aware of the latest mortgage qualification rules. About one in five first-time buyers indicated that the rules impacted their purchase decision with most opting to decrease non-essential expenses, purchase a less expensive home or use savings to increase their down payment.
  • Consumers continue to show confidence in their home buying and mortgage decisions with 80% of home buyers believing that homeownership remains a good long-term financial investment and 66% believing the value of their home will increase in the next 12 months.
  • While homebuyers are generally satisfied with the advice they receive from their mortgage professional, they would like more information on interest rates, types of mortgages available to them, current and long term mortgage strategies, mortgage or house purchase fees as well as tools to manage their mortgage.
  • More than one in five (22%) first-time buyers were newcomers to Canada and almost 50% of first-time buyers were millennials (ages of 25 and 34) down from 60% in 2017.

Additonal survey findings are available on our 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey page.

CMHC helps Canadians meet their housing needs. As Canada’s authority on housing, we contribute to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provide support for Canadians in housing need, and offer objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry. Prudent risk management, strong corporate governance and transparency are cornerstones of our operations.

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Quote:

“Shopping for a mortgage can be overwhelming so the more information you have, the better your experience. We’ve expanded our survey to give us greater detail on what Canadians want when looking for a mortgage and how they go about the process. We also now have more insight into important groups like millennials and first time buyers. Ultimately, our hope is to help Canadians get the most out of the mortgage shopping experience.”
— Carla Staresina, Vice-President, Client Relationship Management, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

CMHC media content available for this news release:

  • Carla Staresina Video Clip — English (14.5 MB)
  • Carla Staresina Headshot (1.79 MB)
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