This year, a handful of trends stood out including greater rate discounting, increased popularity of 5-year terms, and decreased lender loyalty.
Without further ado, here’s a sampling of the most notable findings (our comments in italics)…
The Mortgage Market
5.65 million: Number of Canadians with mortgages.
That’s up 4.6% from last year.
60.1%: Percentage of home owners with a mortgage.
$1.01 trillion: Amount of residential mortgage credit outstanding in Canada.
This is the first time Canada has broken the trillion dollar mark and media is all over it…but “one trillion” is little more than an arbitrary benchmark.
6.5%: CAAMP’s estimated mortgage growth forecast for 2011.
$235 billion: Estimated volume of mortgage approvals in 2010.
CAAMP predicts ‘just’ $203 billion for 2011, down 13.6%.
31%: Percentage of home owners with some form of mortgaging in the last 12 months.
1 in 5 took out a new mortgage. The rest refinanced or renewed.
1.96: Average number of mortgage quotes obtained by consumers.
42%: Percentage of mortgagors who got just one quote.
Possible reasons to explain this:
Some people really trust their mortgage professional.
Lender retention departments are increasingly quoting better renewal rates from the get-go.
The idea of shopping around and saving money apparently doesn’t appeal to some folks.
6%: Number of borrowers who got no quotes.
This includes people who simply signed their renewal letter. What a painful thought.
10%: Share of mortgagors who got over three rate quotes.
1.42: The discount (in percentage points) that the typical 5-year fixed borrower negotiated off posted rates.
This is a significant improvement from last year’s 1.23. Meanwhile, fixed-mortgage spreads are roughly 20 bps tighter this year than in 2009. The rate market has definitely become more competitive, and there is no let-up in sight.
12%: Percentage of mortgagors who made a lump-sum pre-payment in the past year.
So many people want 20% pre-payment privileges and so few people use them. Many would be better off trading pre-payments for a lower rate.
16%: Percentage of mortgagors who increased their regular payments in the past year.
7%: Percentage of mortgagors who did both.
80%: Share of home owners with 20% or more equity.
This is the same as last year…
9%: Percentage of home owners with 10-19.9% equity.
6%: Percentage of home owners with 5-9.9% equity.
3%: Percentage of home owners with 0-4.9% equity.
2%: Percentage of home owners with negative equity (i.e. they owe more than their house is worth!).
50%: Average equity of Canadian home owners with mortgages.
Renewals & Refinancing
The following figures reflect activity from the last 12 months.
18%: Percentage of home owners who refinanced to withdraw equity.
16%: Percentage of mortgagors who renewed (at maturity).
8%: Percentage of mortgagors who early-renewed (before their term was finished).
83%: Percentage of renewers and refinancers who stayed with the same lender.
This number dropped five percentage points from last year. Are people slowly becoming less loyal to their lenders? Lenders’ retention departments are supposed to be getting more aggressive. You wouldn’t know it by this stat.
6%: Percentage of mortgagors that would be financially “challenged” by a rate increase of less than 1%.
This amounts to roughly 350,000 people.
5%: Percentage of mortgagors that would be “challenged” by a rate increase of 1.00-1.49%.
This amounts to 275,000 more people.
2%: Percentage of mortgagors that can’t afford any payment increase at all.
Recent reports suggest that more borrowers are living “near the edge.” However, CAAMP says the proportion of people in the above three risk categories has remained “essentially the same” for the last year.
$1,056: The amount that mortgage payments would have to rise for the average mortgagor to “be concerned with (their) ability to make (their) payments.”
42 out of 1000: Ratio of mortgage holders in arrears.
Job losses are the number one driver of arrears.
66%: Chose fixed rates in the last 12 months.
29%: Chose variable/adjustable rate mortgages.
4%: Chose hybrid mortgages (part fixed / part variable).
Dunning says: “This is surprising…Rates for variable rate mortgages have been considerably lower, yet there has not been a major shift in type selection. The implication is that choice of mortgage types is influenced more by individuals’ assessments of risks, rather than based on cost differences.”
Variable-rate mortgagors claim to be less satisfied with their mortgages than fixed-rate holders. Dunning says: “Holders of variable rate mortgages have received increases in their rates in recent months, which no doubt explains their lower reported satisfaction.”
66%: Took 5-year terms.
56% chose 5-year terms last year.
8%: Took terms over five years.
26%: Chose terms less than five years.
22%: Percentage of Canadian mortgages with amortizations over 25 years.
Two years ago it was 16%.
42%: Percentage of new purchase financing over the last 12 months with amortizations over 25 years.
Two years ago it was 50%.
53: The expected age that people with amortizations over 25 years will pay off their mortgage.
This compares to 47 years for those with amortizations <= 25 years.
Professionals Consulted When Mortgage Shopping
70% spoke to a bank rep.
Down one percentage point from last year.
40% spoke to a mortgage broker.
Up five percentage points from last year.
22% spoke to a credit union.
Up two percentage points from last year.
Where People Went For A New mortgage
40% went to a mortgage broker
39% went to a bank
21% went elsewhere
The numbers favour banks when you include renewals. CAAMP estimates that brokers hold a 25% market share overall.
Study details: The data quoted from this report was commissioned by CAAMP and produced by Will Dunning, Chief economist of CAAMP, in collaboration with Maritz. This report is based on online survey responses from 2,005 Canadians, 1174 of which were home owners with mortgages.