Homebuyers in need of more detailed mortgage info

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Mortgage Consumer Survey (MCS) for 2018 revealed that homebuyers 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 mortgages.

The survey also revealed, however, that homebuyers are generally satisfied with the advice they receive from their mortgage professional.

CMHC Vice-President for Client Relationship Management Carla Staresina understood the need for consumers to have a better grasp of the ins and outs of the mortgage industry.

"Shopping for a mortgage can be overwhelming so the more information you have, the better your experience. Ultimately, our hope is to help Canadians get the most out of the mortgage shopping experience," she said.

Currently, only over half (52%) of homebuyers are aware of the latest mortgage qualification rules.

Having proper knowledge on mortgage regulations is a must, given that it largely impacts borrowers' behaviors. About one in five first-time buyers indicated that the new rules affected their purchase decision, with most opting to decrease non-essential expenses, purchase a less expensive home or use savings to increase their down payment.

Another highlight of the study was examining the different factors that influence buyers' decisions.

More than half of first-time buyers expressed that value or affordability is the most important factor when purchasing a home, compared to other factors such as the type of neighbourhood, proximity to work and overall condition of the home.

Relatedly, 37% of homebuyers were concerned and uncertain when buying a home especially because of affordability.  Half of this pool were worried about paying too much for their home, while nearly one-third were wary about increasing interest and mortgage rates.

Further, around 50% of home buyers agreed that they would feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction. The majority, though, still agree that it is essential to meet face-to-face with their mortgage professional when discussing and finalizing their mortgage.

Qualifying the first-time buyers in Canada, it was observed that 22% of them were newcomers to the country, and almost 50% were millennials (ages of 25 and 34) – down from 60% in 2017.

The poll was completed in April this year, with 4000 respondents who have undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. 68% of them had renewed their mortgage, 15% had refinanced their mortgage, and 16% had purchased a home with mortgage financing, where 9% were first-time buyers and 7% were repeat buyers.

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.

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