The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has released a comprehensive peek into the mind of Canada’s typical mortgage shopper. Their annual survey of Canadian mortgage borrowers, which polled 3,510 consumers who have made mortgage transactions within the past 12 months, sheds some light on how shoppers are learning about their options, how loyal they are to their banks, and how they value mortgage advice along the way. Here’s our breakdown of the top consumer findings.
Over the past 12 months:
58%: Renewed their mortgage
20%: Refinanced their mortgage
22%: Purchased a new home with a mortgage
We Shop For Mortgages Online
When seeking info about mortgage options, Canadians are hitting the web before the branch: 78% of consumers checked out various online sources when getting their mortgage. Once online, 56% go straight to lender websites, 24% check out broker options, while 15% do both.
We Take Advantage of Today’s Low Rates
Homeowners were also keen to stick with the best rates – of those who renewed their mortgages this year, 60% of them did so early because they believed today’s record low rates wouldn’t be available upon their renewal date.
Many also took advantage of today’s low rates to pay off their mortgages faster – 49% used accelerated payments of some kind, while 32% made a lump sum toward their mortgage principal.
Also read: How Can I Pay Off My Mortgage Faster?
We’re Increasingly Loyal To Our Lenders
First time home buyers are most likely to stray from their home banks – only 47% of this group stuck with their primary lender when applying for their mortgage financing. But once Canadians find their ideal lender, they’re sticking with them for the long haul – 86% of those who renewed their mortgages stayed with the same lender, up 10% from last year.
And it appears that good customer service goes a long way: of those who stayed, 58% said it was due to the existing relationship they have with their lender. Of those who did switch, 63% said it was rate motivated. Renewing customers also had the least need for a broker, with only 24% using their services to find their new rate. But that’s not to say renewing mortgage customers aren’t a savvy group – more than half negotiate the terms of their new mortgage from what’s originally on their statement.
Also Read: Proof It Pays to Compare Mortgage Rates
We Are Using Brokers When Buying Homes
Brokers can be an invaluable resource for buyers – not only do they navigate the rate marketplace to find you the best deal for your finances, they also handle the paperwork that comes with rate negotiation. This appears not lost on the first time buyer segment, where broker share increased to 55% from 48% last year.
Those buying their second homes were also more likely to use broker services – 42%, up from 32%. By contrast, those who were not buying a home but renewed or refinancedtheir mortgage were only 24% likely to use one.
We Crunch Our Own Numbers
There’s a bevvy of helpful tools available online and via apps, and today’s tech-savvy mortgage consumer is benefiting from them. While only 17% are using mobile apps during the home hunting process, Canadians love to crunch their numbers with calculators as 70% of online shoppers used one at some point. Just over a third saw how their current or pre-approved rate stacked up against the market’s best with a rate comparison calculator while another 34% determined their budget using a mortgage affordability calculator. Both are great tools to explore your mortgage options, and determine just how much house you can buy.