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CMHC says 27% of Canadians use mortgage brokers, according to their latest mortgage consumer survey.

This number differs, however, from a recent CIMBL survey–which pegs the number at 31%.

More amazing was the finding that only 43% of mortgage seekers "shopped for several proposals."  The fact that this was not closer to 100% means that tens of thousands of people overpaid for their mortgage in 2006.  (There is little excuse not to utilize a mortgage broker to pit multiple lenders against each other for your benefit.)

CMHC also found that…

  • 71% of people refinanced before their mortgage term was up.
  • The number of people using mortgage brokers to shop for mortgage renewals jumped from 8% to 13% this past year.

The National Post had a few words about CMHC's survey as well.  They noted that 81% of people renewed their mortgage with their existing lender.  This was largely due to "convenience" (read laziness).

Moreover, many people seem to fear an onerous re-application process.  That is a misconception since the renewal application process is actually a breeze if you let a mortgage broker do the legwork.

One of the major inroads for mortgage brokers in 2006 was with "refi's."  According to the National post, 65% of people stayed with their current lender when refinancing in 2006.  This fell sharply from 83% the prior year, as brokers steered more and more clients into lower cost alternatives.

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