A new survey found the majority of homeowners share concerns about making their mortgage payments due to increased interest rates.

According to the data from Ratehub.ca, 67 per cent are worried about paying their mortgage once their next renewal comes up, while 69 per cent of homeowner respondents reported that their mortgage has been generally more challenging to pay in the last two years. 

The survey also found that homeowners made major shifts in their financial decisions to compensate for the higher interest rate environment. 

Penelope Graham, director of content at Ratehub.ca, says homeowners continue to look for numerous options to mitigate the impact of the challenging rate environment. 

“It’s evident that mortgage holders facing a more challenging rate environment (and) upon renewal are exploring options to mitigate the impact – notably, nearly 29 per cent say they plan to refinance their mortgage loans,” she said in a statement sent to BNNBloomberg.ca. 

The data found that 24 per cent of surveyed homeowners considered downsizing their home, while 29 per cent considered refinancing their mortgage. Other major decisions included tightening other areas of their budget (54 per cent) or considering a switch to an alternative lender to help cover costs (17 per cent).

“This can prove to be an effective way to offset higher rates, either by switching to a lender with more favourable term features, extending their amortization, or pulling out built-up equity in order to help with higher monthly payments,” Graham said in the statement. 

She added that higher mortgage rates are “reducing borrowers’ spending power.” 

The survey found that the majority of respondents (65.1 per cent) have a fixed mortgage rate, while 34.9 per cent have a variable mortgage rate. 

Rateshub.ca also reported that 62.6 per cent of respondent homeowners will get a fixed mortgage rate at renewal, and 37.8 per cent will get a variable mortgage rate. 

“Fixed mortgage rates continue to be the most common choice for borrowers, even as rates have soared since early 2022,” Graham explained. “This reflects borrowers’ desire for stability in a volatile marketplace, even as expectations grow for lower variable rates in the near future.”

Methodology: 

Ratehub.ca’s 2023 Mortgage Survey of 2,651 adults was conducted December 3, 2023 - December 31, 2023 by Ratehub.ca. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in Canada were surveyed using an online research panel method across a combination of desktop, mobile and tablet devices.