Categories for Industry Reports

Despite Rising Home Prices, 75% of Regions Still “Undervalued,” Say Realtors

Spring is officially more than a month away, but in hot housing markets “spring” homebuying season has already begun. And it’s shaping up to be a competitive one, especially with the just-announced stress test easing. A recent survey from RE/MAX suggests that more than 6 in 10 real estate agents in major cities (62%) are seeing buyers being priced out...

Trading Relationships for Rate Savings

How much would you have to save to deal with a mortgage lender that had no in-person or telephone advisors, just ultra-low rates, live chat support and a reliable, efficient user experience? If you’re like 16% of mortgage shoppers, you wouldn’t deal with that kind of lender at all. If you’re like 18% of mortgage shoppers, you’d happily use an...

Most People Don’t Know What Amortization Means

It’s a fact; little better than 1 in 4 Canadians have any idea what amortization means, according to a recently-released Ipsos survey. Surprisingly, “…Less than 1% of respondents gave a strictly correct response by saying only that it means “the time to pay the mortgage in full,'” Ipsos wrote in its report. Just as eye-opening, 14% of people claimed to have...

How People are Mortgage Shopping – New Stats

More people are researching mortgages online before they confront a lender or broker. That’s the good news. The bad news is that less than 1 in 3 are using sites like this to research mortgage rates, if CMHC’s latest data is accurate. The percentage that do use rate sites is up materially from last year’s 22%, but still too many...

Reminder to Politicians: Fuel Supply, Not Demand

As Canada’s federal election approaches, all the major parties are in vote-buying mode. The carrot they’re dangling in front of young homebuyers these days is buying power (more of it). That’s their “solution” to a problem they can’t quickly fix: high home prices. But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is calling them out. The IMF, which is notorious for its...

Your Future Home Price Hinges on Public Perception

If you’re a homeowner, you want your property value to escalate over time. But market fundamentals—those economic factors that drive supply and demand—aren’t alone in determining your home’s worth. There’s something else that can be just as important: what your neighbours and people you know think prices will do. Price Expectations Matter (a lot) Research from Marcato and Nanda (2014) confirmed...

An Avalanche of New Mortgage Data

Here are seven things you may not know about Canada’s mortgage market. The source: CMHC’s insightful new Residential Mortgage Industry Report. 1) Variable Rates Looked Good (Keyword Being “Looked”) Almost 3 in 10 borrowers (29%) went variable in the first quarter. That’s 12 percentage points higher than two years prior. And that’s despite the historically narrow gap between fixed and variable...

You’re More Likely to Miss a Mortgage Payment if…

…You’re older, a lone-parent, making a modest income and living in the Prairies. That’s a sampling of insight from this new StatsCan study. Newer lenders could find this report interesting, given they always want to know who’s most likely to miss a mortgage payment. StatsCan’s research also downplays the highly publicized “debt-to-income ratio,” which makes news headlines every quarter. The agency writes...

Financial Optimism Linked to Mortgage Size

Think you’re going to be materially better off in the next two years? Odds are, you’ll get a bigger mortgage than someone who doesn’t. That’s StatsCan’s finding in this just-released study. “Families with positive expectations about their financial situation…held about $27,900 more in mortgage debt than other comparable families during the period from 1999 to 2016,” StatsCan said. That’s like a 38% bigger mortgage. The more...

HELOC Risk is Rising, Suggests the FCAC: New Stats

Most consumers are underinformed about HELOCs. 27% of HELOC holders are only making interest-only payments most/all of the time. Too many HELOC holders may be using them to overspend. Those were key findings from today’s Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) report on HELOCs. HELOCs have been the single-biggest contributor to rising non-mortgage household debt over the past 15 years—”more than...