Photo: Marcie Casas/Flickr
Instead of meeting with a mortgage professional, 40 per cent of Canadian mortgage consumers would complete their entire mortgage transaction online, says a new study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
And nearly half of Canadians with mortgages would feel secure using technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction.
“People are looking for the most convenient way to get information and online seems to be the way that’s happening,” Pichu Kalyniuk, CMHC Account Manager tells BuzzBuzzNews.
In March 2017, CMHC conducted its annual online mortgage consumer survey where roughly 3,000 homebuyers who had completed a mortgage transaction in the past year participated.
In the survey, published on Tuesday, the majority of respondents (65 per cent) had undergone a mortgage renewal in the past 12 months, 15 per cent refinanced their mortgage and 20 per cent purchased a home with mortgage financing.
Of the respondents who bought a home, 11 per cent were first-time homebuyers.
It appears most Canadians are turning to the web for their mortgage enquiries but when finalizing an agreement, many still prefer meeting in person with a professional.
Seventy-six per cent of all mortgage consumers would rather research mortgage options online instead of visiting a financial institution or mortgage broker.
Along with searching on lender and broker websites, Canadians are increasingly using social media for their mortgage research.
“Things like YouTube have really turned into an online library essentially,” says Kalyniuk.
Facebook was the most common platform to gather mortgage information with 57 per cent of respondents, followed by YouTube with 34 per cent and blogs with 29 per cent.
With many Canadians on the go, the use of mobile devices to search for home financing options is increasing. This year, 31 per cent of respondents used their phones for research compared to 27 per cent in 2016.
“Every single year the amount of people that are using mobile devices to do their research for mortgage related information has only gone up. I expect that to continue to go up,” says Kalyniuk.
Among 76 per cent of respondents, the top reason for going online was to use a mortgage calculator, followed by 51 per cent to perform a financial self-assessment and 29 per cent to complete an online pre-approval form.
Some Canadians do prefer the traditional face-to-face interaction when researching financing options but Kalyniuk says technology has opened doors for faster and convenient service.
“We do have people who are doing research only offline but the majority are using both or just using online. I do think that these types of tools are only going to increase,” says Kalyniuk.
When ready to purchase a home, 72 per cent of buyers were most likely to consult with a real estate agent for advice, compared to speaking with a family member, lender or broker.
Even though many Canadians are using the web for their mortgage enquiries, having an expert seal the deal is still considered a priority.
The majority of homeowners (69 per cent) said negotiating a mortgage in person with a professional is important and 70 per cent agreed finalizing a mortgage face-to-face is essential.