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2014 CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey

Earlier this year, CMHC completed an online survey of 3,584 recent mortgage consumers, all prime household decision-makers who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. Fifty-five percent had undergone a mortgage renewal, 22% had refinanced their mortgage, and 23% had purchased a home with mortgage financing.

Online Mortgage Information Gathering

The 2014 Mortgage Consumer Survey shows once again that most mortgage consumers (78%) looked to online information sources to gather information about mortgage options and features. Among these, 60% went to lender websites, 25% to broker websites and 16% went to both lender and broker websites. Almost three-quarters of those going online (73%) used a mortgage calculator.

In 2014, 22% of online mortgage consumers made use of social media to gather information about mortgages (compared to 14% in 2013). The use of mobile devices is more common among younger mortgage consumers, where 25% of those aged 18 to 34 years old reported using a mobile device to conduct mortgage research. Among those using a mobile device, 26% used a mortgage-related app.

Mortgage Process and Renewal Experience

Fifty-two percent of recent buyers contacted at least one lender and 41% contacted at least one broker to learn about mortgage options. On average, 2.9 lenders and 2.0 brokers were contacted. Paying attention to consumer satisfaction throughout the mortgage process can significantly impact the potential for repeat business. Among mortgage consumers who “totally agreed” they were satisfied with their mortgage professional, 77% “totally agreed” they would use this mortgage professional again. In comparison, among those “somewhat satisfied”, only 13% “totally agreed” they would use this mortgage professional again.

The majority of mortgage renewers (59%) renewed before the scheduled date. The main reason for renewing in advance was to avoid a perceived increase in rates (56%).

Advice from Mortgage Professionals and Post-Transaction Contact

During the mortgage process, recent buyers received a wide range of mortgage-related advice from their mortgage professional, including advice on mortgage terms and conditions (79%), the mortgage amount for which they could qualify (72%), and advice concerning current and long-term mortgage strategies (72%). Providing clients with useful advice on current and long-term mortgage strategies can increase the proportion of those totally satisfied with their mortgage professional by up to 70%, while also increasing the propensity of repeat business by as much as 55%.

Post-transaction contact can increase the likelihood for repeat business by nearly 60%. Only 35% of those not receiving follow-up contact “totally agreed” that they will likely use their lender or broker again to arrange their next mortgage. This increases to 55% among those who were contacted post-transaction.

The types of follow-up contact mortgage consumers would have considered useful include advice on long-term mortgage financial strategies, housing market information, information on how to manage financial difficulty, and investment opportunities.

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