Date: May 14, 2024

📊 Key Takeaways from the 2024 CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey

Last week, CMHC released the 2024 CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey. Why is this important? Well, it won’t give you a view of what all Canadians are feeling but it will put some things into perspective. This survey is based on 3,866 mortgage consumers 18+ years old who have been part of a mortgage transaction in the last 18 months. My two cents on surveys that no one asked for: they give us a picture of where we’ve been but not always where we are going. Surveys are based on the past, not the future, sort of like inflation numbers 😉 These are good indications of where things are headed, but there are no guarantees. We read through the report and here’s your Coles notes version;

🏠 Current Landscape:

  • 15% of Canadians took out a mortgage in the last 18 months, down from 16% in 2023, and this makes sense since it seems the entire country has been waiting for rates to come down. Canadians have patiently been waiting for spring to see a decrease in interest rates, and the fact is that we are pretty much on par with where the year started off. At the beginning of January, rates were pretty even to where we are now, but what about home prices?
  • More renewers (62%) compared to 2023 (58%); fewer first-time (10%) and repeat buyers (8%). As we know, more than 60% of all Canadian mortgages are up for renewal in the next three years, so these numbers should not surprise anyone.

💰 Affordability & Interest Rates:

  • 65% impacted by rising interest rates, up from 50% in 2023. Most consumers look at this and think their mortgage payment will increase by 65%, but that’s just not true. Yes, you will have paid off more of your mortgage in the last term than you will likely ever pay off in the coming terms, so your mortgage balance will be lower and your amortization shorter, so yes, your payment will increase on renewal. Click here for some math 🙂
  • 13% delayed home buying due to high interest rates, up from 5% in 2023.
  • Consumers are using strategies to avoid defaulting, such as budgeting and reducing expenses.

🔑 Homebuying Process:

  • Average time to save for a down payment: 4.2 years.
  • 30% of buyers received gifts for down payments, with an average gift amount of $77,487.
  • Most buyers see homeownership as a good long-term investment (79%).

📈 Mortgage Trends:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages have been preferred over variable rate (at 69%, up from 66% in 2023).
  • Homeowners have shifted towards longer amortization periods and shorter renewal terms due to qualifying and in hopes for lower rates in the short term.

🤔 Consumer Attitudes:

  • 79% believe homeownership is a good long-term investment.
  • 62% comfortable sharing mortgage information virtually.
  • 56% comfortable with online mortgage processes. I still believe that relationships are key, but once you have them, you can do the entire process virtually and online (2020 taught us that)

🔨 Renovations & Going Green:

  • 45% renovated homes in the past three years; 28% focused on energy efficiency.
  • Homeowners who made energy-efficient renovations saw savings in energy bills (68%).

🔍 Deeper Dive by Consumer Profile:

🏠 First-Time Homebuyers:

  • 55% of homebuyers were first-time buyers, primarily aged 25-34.
  • Most rented before buying; 71% rented, 28% lived rent-free.
  • Top reasons for buying: financial readiness, safe investment, greater stability.

🔄 Repeat Buyers:

  • 8% of homebuyers were repeat buyers.
  • Mainly aged 35-44 with $105K+ household income.
  • Top reasons for buying: change in living situation, need for larger home, safe investment.

🔄 Renewers:

  • 62% of mortgage consumers were renewers.
  • Primarily aged 35-44 with $105K+ household income.
  • Most used a fixed-rate mortgage (71%); top reason for renewing: better rates.

🔄 Refinancers:

  • 19% of mortgage consumers were refinancers.
  • Mainly aged 35-44 with $105K+ household income.
  • Top reasons for refinancing: fund home renovations, reconcile debts, buy rental property.

These points provide a detailed overview of the main findings and trends from the 2024 CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey. What are your thoughts? 💭

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