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CAAMP 2010 Spring Mortgage Survey

CAAMP Canada’s national mortgage industry association, CAAMP, has released its 6th bi-annual survey of the Canadian mortgage market.


As usual, it contains oodles of interesting mortgage factoids.


Here’s a summary of the key numbers…



Mortgage Market

  • Number of Canadian homeowners: 9.3 million
  • Number of mortgage holders: 5.55 million
  • Number of renters: 4.0 million
  • Total value of all Canadian mortgages outstanding: $1.04 trillion (year-end 2010 estimate)
  • Owner-occupied mortgages outstanding: $770 billion
  • Rental property and 2nd home mortgages: $200 billion (This is our rough estimate based on CAAMP and Bank of Canada data.)
  • New mortgages this year: $228 billion (This estimate includes purchases, refinances, renewals, and transfers.)

Market Share

  • 30% of new mortgages were arranged by brokers (up one percentage point from last spring)
  • 50% of new mortgages were arranged by banks
  • 20% of new mortgages were arranged elsewhere (e.g. credit unions, trust companies, insurance companies, etc.)

Mortgage Activity

  • Percentage of home owners who got new mortgages in the last 12 months:  24%
  • Percentage of new mortgages that were for purchases: 7% (~700,000 households)
  • Percentage of new mortgages that were for renewals, refinances, or transfers: 17%
  • Percentage of mortgagors who took out equity from their homes in the past year: 11%


  • Average Canadian mortgage: $138,000
  • Average home equity for mortgage holders: $159,000
  • Average loan-to-value: 46%
  • Only 2% of mortgage holders have equity less than 5%
  • Only 1% owe more than their home is worth

Rate Type


Borrowers chose the following types of rates in the last year:

  • 65% chose fixed rates
  • 29% chose variable rates (roughly 45% of borrowers over the age of 55 took variable rates)
  • 6% chose hybrid mortgages (part fixed/part variable)



Borrowers chose the following terms in the last year:

  • 1-year: 6%
  • 2-year: 7%
  • 3-year: 12%
  • 4-year: 9%
  • 5-year: 44%
  • Over 5 years: 22% (This stat is surprising since there’s so little evidence that terms of this length are economical over the long-run.)


  • 17% of mortgagors have amortizations over the standard 25 years (same percentage as last year)
  • 36% of mortgages originated in the last year have amortizations over 25 years (versus 46% one year ago)

Payment Arrears

  • 93% of mortgagors have never missed a payment
  • 4% of mortgagors missed a payment in the last year (There was no link, however, to new home buyers or to 30-40 year amortizations.)
  • 6.8% of mortgagors indicate that they presently have difficulties making payments
  • In addition, another 8.6% of mortgagors expect that future potential rate increases may “exceed their tolerances” (The study author suggests that many of these individuals have breathing room. That’s because many have large amounts of equity, and/or can expect income increases, and/or have room to decrease payments if needed.)
  • 0.45% of Canadian mortgage holders are 90+ days overdue on their mortgage payments (as of February)


  • Borrowers got an average discount of 1.46% off posted 5-year fixed rates in the last year.
  • The average Canadian mortgage rate is now 4.09% (down from 4.83% one year ago)
  • The rate on mortgages originated in the past six months is 3.63%
  • Just 1.3% of mortgagors have rates of 8% or more

Future Rate Expectations

  • 70% of Canadians expect mortgage rates to rise
  • 0% expect rates to fall (CAAMP’s data table shows “0%” and says “virtually no one expects interest rates to fall.”)


  • 16% of mortgagors increased their regular payments in the last 12 months
  • 13% made lump-sum pre-payments
  • 5% made both forms of pre-payment (25% made one or both forms in the last 12 months)
  • Total lump-sum prepayments averaged about 1% of the typical borrower’s mortgage


  • 325,000 mortgagors have rental units in their primary residence generating rent (125,000 needed rental income to qualify for their mortgage).
  • 12% of borrowers locked into a fixed rate from a variable rate in the past 12 months (about 400,000 borrowers)

About This Survey


CAAMP is the national organization representing Canada’s mortgage industry. This survey was conducted on its behalf by Maritz (a major national public opinion and market research firm) for CAAMP, during April 2010. The author is Will Dunning, Chief Economist for CAAMP and founder of Will Dunning Inc. Data used in this report was obtained from various sources, including an online survey that included 1,800 home owners with mortgages. CMT provides this data for commentary purposes and is not affiliated with CAAMP or Will Dunning Inc.