Canadian homeowners may be feeling more anxious about their finances these days, but an overwhelming majority continue to believe real estate is a good long-term investment.
The latest data from Mortgage Professionals Canada’s 2022 Year-End Consumer Survey provides a wealth of valuable insight into the current mindset of Canadian homeowners.
Unsurprisingly, in the face of higher prices, elevated interest rates and falling home prices, nearly 6 in 10 Canadians say they are anxious about inflation and their family’s finances. That’s up nearly 20 percentage points in just six months.
Still, about 8 in 10 respondents continue to believe real estate is a good, long-term investment. And in making their purchase, roughly a third of buyers said they relied on the services of a mortgage broker to help them navigate the process.
“That’s where mortgage brokers play a key role. What we heard from Canadians is that close to half of first-time home buyers would work with a broker to help them navigate the largest investment of their lives,” said MPC President and CEO Lauren van den Berg.
“Brokers continue to prove their worth in the Canadian housing market with 9 out of 10 customers reporting they were very satisfied with their experience and 4 out of 5 saying they would recommend their broker to friends and family,” she added.
The survey asked borrowers about their experiences throughout the mortgage process, including their satisfaction—or dissatisfaction—with the mortgage professionals they turned to and the service they received.
The following are highlights from MPC’s 2022 Year-End Consumer Survey & Outlook.
The results are based on a sampling of over 2,000 Canadians and was conducted by Bond Brand Loyalty between December 5 and 18.
The mortgage market
- 69% of mortgage holders had fixed-rate mortgages in 2022
- Up from 66% in 2021
- Fixed-rate mortgages are most popular among those 55 and older (75%) and those in the Atlantic region (81%).
- 25% of mortgages that have variable or adjustable rates
- Down from 26% in 2021.
- 3% of borrowers have a combination of fixed and variable, known as “hybrid” mortgages (down from 4% in 2021)
Variable-rate mortgage holders and trigger rates
- 23% of variable-rate mortgage holders had knowingly hit their trigger rate as of December.
- This is the point where the interest portion of their payment has increased so much that the entirety of the payment is going towards interest cost.
- 50% said they haven’t hit their trigger rate (as of December)
- 27% don’t know
- 51% of variable-rate mortgage holders have fixed monthly payments
- 49% have an adjustable rate with payments that fluctuate according to prime rate
- 29% of variable-rate holders are actively considering switching to a fixed-rate mortgage
- 35% say they had considered switching to a fixed-rate at some point, but decided not to.
- 75% of Canadians have not considered refinancing their mortgage
- Those 55 and older (80%) and those from Manitoba and Saskatchewan (81%) are lease likely to consider refinancing.
- 5% have refinanced their mortgage in the past year
- 8% have refinanced, but not in the past year
- 10% of those who refinanced have paid a penalty
- $5,173 is the average penalty paid when refinancing a mortgage (down from $6,472 a year ago)
- 55% of mortgage holders expect to renew their mortgage withing the next three years
- 16% expect to renew in the next year
- 32% expect to renew in the next two years
- 33% expect to renew in the next three to five years
- 18%: Percentage of homeowners who took equity out of their home in the past year (down from 19% in 2021)
- $60,410: The average amount of equity taken out (down from $73,000 in 2021 and down from $106,000 in early 2022)
Most common uses for the funds include:
- 36%: For home renovation and repair (+3 pts. Year-over-year)
- The average spend on renovations was $41,748.
- 32%: For debt consolidation and repayment (+3 pts.)
- 21%: For investments (-3 pts.)
- 23%: For purchases (+6 pts.)
- 9%: To gift or lend to family members (+2 pts)
- 61%: Those who wouldn’t have been able to afford their home without assistance with their down payment (up 1 pt. from 2021)
- $6,410: The average down payment made by all buyers in recent years
The top sources of down payment funds for all buyers on their first purchase:
- 53%: Personal savings (-2 pts.)
- 11%: Gifts from parents or other family members (-1 pt.)
- 4%: Loan from parents or other family members (-1 pt.)
- 8%: Withdrawal from RRSP
- 3%: Other sources
Actions to accelerate repayment
- 45%: Percentage of mortgage holders who voluntarily take action to shorten their amortization periods (up from 39% in 2021)
Among all mortgage holders:
- 19% made a lump-sum payment
- 18% increased the amount of their payment (the average amount was $583 more a month, compared to $162 in 2021)
- 8% increased payment frequency
- 29% of mortgage borrowers used the services of a mortgage broker when they obtained their mortgage
- Down one point from last year, but still near the 14-year high of 34% achieved in 2015
- First-time buyers (45%) are most likely to use the services of a mortgage broker, as well as those between the ages of 18-34 (40%) and those in Alberta (38%) and B.C. (35%).
- Those in the Atlantic region (22%) and Quebec (22%) are least likely to use the services of a mortgage broker, along with those over the age of 55 (14%)
- 61% of mortgage borrowers used the services of a bank (+5 pts. year-over-year)
- 10% who used another source (-3 pts.)
How did you initially find your mortgage representative?
- 42%: The institution I deal with for banking/investments
- 21%: Through a friend or family / colleague at work
- 14%: A referral from a Realtor
- 7%: A referral from another advisor (financial advisor, lawyer, etc.)
- 6%: I found them on a mortgage rate comparison website
- 4%: I used an online search engine and clicked on the representative’s link
- 2%: I found them on website banner advertisement
- 2%: I found them mentioned on an online news article or blog
- 2%: I found them mentioned on an online discussion forum
Why or why not use a broker?
What are the top reasons you may not work with a broker on your next mortgage?
- 27%: I would rather deal directly with a lender or representative from a lender
- 25%: I don’t want to pay for the broker’s services
- 24%: I don’t want to deal with a lender I am not familiar with
- 19%: I don’t think a broker could get me a better deal
- 18%: I don’t want to go through the effort of finding a good broker
- 18%: I don’t want to switch lenders when my term is up
- 12%: I don’t think a broker could provide much value on a refinance/renewal
- 9%: I don’t understand what services brokers provide
What are the top reasons you decided to work with a broker?
- 59%: To get the best rate
- 39%: To get multiple quotes
- 33%: To help me understand my options and the process
- 25%: So I didn’t have to do the research and investigation myself
- 25%: For better customer service
- 20%: To provide me with recommendations on which lender to deal with
- 18%: Because the broker was open and upfront with me
- 18%: To provide me with recommendations on the mortgage terms I should get
- 17%: Because the broker matched the products to my needs
Broker vs. bank?
How much more would you be willing to pay for the convenience of getting a mortgage with your current primary bank rather than a different bank or a mortgage lender?
- 8%: 0.01% (i.e. 2.51% vs. 2.50%)
- 8%: .05% (i.e. 2.55% vs. 2.50%)
- 5%: 0.10% (i.e. 2.60% vs. 2.50%)
- 5%: 0.25% (i.e. 2.75% vs. 2.50%)
- 52%: I would not pay more for the convenience of getting a mortgage with my current bank
- 22%: Not sure