First-time homebuyers on average make a 21 per cent down payment on the purchase of their new home; since the 1990s, about 40 per cent of this has come from personal savings, suggesting Canadians wait to be financially stable before purchasing. But recently, as home prices have risen, 17 per cent of the down-payment has come from family gifts or loans, a higher number than in previous years. These are just some of the facts found in the Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market in Canada, the latest consumer survey report released today by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).
The report probes into how Canadians are managing their mortgage debt. In this low interest rate environment, they continue to aggressively pay down their mortgages even though most renewing their mortgages are going to find interest rates unchanged or lower than their current rates.
Questions related to why people do not own a home produced interesting results: the majority of people 18-34 indicated they were waiting for prices to fall and savings to increase. At the other end of the age spectrum, more than two-thirds of those over 55 said they were renting because it was a better option for them.
- About 425,000 live in homes that they purchased during 2014 (up to the time of this survey). The average price was just over $400,000, for a total value of $173 billion.
- About 125,000 Canadian homeowners fully repaid their mortgages during 2014 (up to the date of this survey). A further 50,000 to 75,000 expect to fully repay their mortgage before the end of 2014. In combination, about 190,000 mortgages will have been fully repaid during the year.
- About 900,000 current mortgage holders made lump sum payments in the past year, totaling $16 billion.
- Among the 190,000 to 200,000 Canadians who have repaid (or are expected to repay) their mortgages during 2014, lump sum payments total about $5 billion.
- About 900,000 mortgage holders voluntarily increased their regular payments during the past year, by amounts that equate to more than $3 billion per year.
- The average mortgage interest rate is 3.24 per cent, identical to what we saw in the spring survey and down from the average 3.5 per cent found in the fall 2013 survey.
- On average, Canadian home equity amounts to 74 per cent of the value of their homes; more than 85 per cent have 25 per cent or higher.
- About 11 per cent of homeowners took equity out of their homes, using the money for debt consolidation and repayment, renovations, investments, purchases, including education, and “other”.
“Overall, the CAAMP fall report paints a picture of homeowners whether just starting out on their ownership journey or long time mortgage holders, as remarkably confident,” said Jim Murphy, AMP, President and CEO of CAAMP. “They wait until they are financially stable before buying, and they take advantage of low interest rates to aggressively reduce their mortgage debt. Home ownership continues to be an important anchor for the Canadian economy.”
A tale of two resale markets
CAAMP’s research tabulated by Chief Economist Will Dunning indicates that a drop in resale activity in slow growth regions east of Ontario has led to statistically significant job losses. Dunning has been tracking the impact of the federal government’s tightening on mortgage lending since the summer of 2012.
“Broadly speaking, resale activity has improved by 50 per cent from where it was in 2012,” Dunning said. “However, resale activity lags in slow growth regions and that in turn undermines job creation in parts of the country which rely on the housing industry to generate employment.”
Dunning estimates that the reduction of resale market activity has negatively affected employment leading to a loss of 29,000 jobs over the past two years. “Since the housing market impacts have been greatest in the slow growth provinces, job creation impacts have been greatest in these provinces,” he said.
For a full copy of CAAMP’s fall 2014 survey report, visit www.caamp.org.