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November 8, 2010

As of August 2010, there was $1.01 trillion in outstanding residential mortgage credit in Canada, an increase of 7.6 per cent from last year.

Wowzers!

This news comes from the sixth Annual State of the Residential Mortgage Market report from the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).

“Canadian homeowners are comfortable with their mortgage debt, have significant home equity and could withstand an increase in their mortgage interest rate…” says the report.

Some other interesting facts from the report:

• The vast majority of Canadians with mortgages are able to afford at least a $300 increase in their monthly mortgage payments;
• One in three (35 per cent) mortgage holders have either increased their payments or made a lump sum payment on their mortgage in the last year;
• 89 per cent of Canadian homeowners have at least 10 per cent equity in their homes and 80 per cent have more than 20 per cent equity; and,
• Overall home equity is at 72 per cent of the total value of housing in Canada; for homeowners who have mortgages, equity level averages 50 per cent.

Canadians are smart!

“Canadians are being smart and responsible with their mortgages,” said Jim Murphy, AMP, President and CEO of CAAMP. “They are building equity in their homes and making informed, long-term mortgage decisions. The survey results speak to the strength of our mortgage market, especially when compared to the United States.”

Canadians Repay!

Looks like home-ownership is a good long-term investment, and Canadians are working hard on their mortgages to support that investment.

Many mortgage holders are making voluntary additional payments: 16 per cent have increased monthly payments during the past year, 12 per cent have made lump sum payments, and 7 per cent did both.

Canadians are conservative!

It also appears that Canadians are a conservative bunch, with a majority choosing a fixed-rate (66 per cent). A five-year fixed-rate mortgage remains the most popular option in Canada.

Despite the fact that variable rate mortgages have become much less expensive compared to fixed rates, the majority choice is still fixed rates: this decision is based on people’s individual assessments of risk, not just the cost difference.

Canadians own a lot of their home!

Canadians’ home equity is impressively high. Among homeowners who have mortgages, the average amount of equity is about $146,000, or 50 per cent of the average value of their homes.

The amount of equity take-out in the past year is unchanged from last year with around one in five homeowners, or 18 per cent, taking equity out of their home, at an average of $46,000. The most common purpose for equity take-out is debt consolidation and repayment (45 per cent) followed by home renovations (43 per cent), purchases and education (19 per cent) and then investments (16 per cent).

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