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Rising interest rates and affordability concerns continue to impact Canadian homebuyers: CMHC

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Last week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its 2024 Mortgage Consumer Survey which showed affordability and rising interest rates continue to be some of the biggest factors affecting mortgage consumers.

In January, CMHC surveyed almost 4,000 recent mortgage consumers across Canada who renewed or refinanced a mortgage, or purchased a home in the past 18 months.


‘Consumers and (their) mortgage professionals are working hard to facilitate viable solutions to financing challenges’


Sam Carnovale, CMHC’s director of client relationship management, notes, “Concerns over housing affordability and interest rates continue to prove challenging for homebuyers in Canada. We are seeing that consumers and the mortgage professionals who serve them are working hard to facilitate viable solutions to housing financing challenges, such as co-ownership arrangements and refinancing for renovations.”       


Mortgages, interest rates, purchase postponement and saving for a down payment


Overall, the mortgage landscape was pretty similar compared to last year, with 15 per cent of Canadians taking out a mortgage in the last 18 months, compared to 16 per cent in 2023. Although 63 per cent of homebuyers are concerned or uncertain throughout the process, most mortgage consumers (79 per cent) still believe a home is a good long-term financial investment. 

During the 18-month period the survey covered, interest rates reached levels not seen in years. 22 per cent of respondents who purchased a home said rising interest rates influenced their decision to buy sooner than planned, and 13 per cent said they delayed their home purchase nearly three times more than in 2023.

First-time buyers (18 per cent) and newcomers (26 per cent) were most likely to postpone a purchase. Compared to the 2023 survey, more mortgage consumers were impacted by rising interest rates (65 per cent compared to 50 per cent).

It took 4.2 years on average for homebuyers to save for a down payment, with 30 per cent of buyers receiving a gift to help with the cost. 12 per cent of all respondents shared the purchase of their home with a roommate or an adult family member they live with (other than a spouse/partner).


Review more survey highlights here.


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