October 27, 2020

Canadians see homes as an investment not an expense

40% of Alberta homeowners are mortgage-free

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald November 6, 2012

CALGARY — The majority of Canadians — 77 per cent in fact — indicate their home is an investment rather than an expense, according to a Scotiabank poll.

For Canadians who see the home as an investment, not as expense – the differences between the regions are as follows: Quebec (79 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (80 per cent) and Alberta (69 per cent).

The Scotiabank poll found that two-thirds (69 per cent) of Canadians report owning a home and for Canadian homeowners, 40 per cent are living mortgage-free.

It found that 40 per cent of Alberta homeowners are mortgage-free as well.

It also found regionally the following percentages for homeowners who are mortgage-free: 41 per cent, Atlantic Canada; 42 per cent, Quebec; 37 per cent, Ontario; 47 per cent, Manitoba/Saskatchewan; and 54 per cent, British Columbia.

Among those mortgage holders not yet retired, one-third (32 per cent) in Canada say they will likely still have their mortgage when they retire. But 72 per cent of Canadian mortgage holders are taking at least one step to becoming mortgage-free faster.

The poll also found: 81 per cent of Canadians agree it is important to become mortgage-free as soon as possible; the most common step Canadians are taking to pay off their mortgage faster is to increase the frequency of their regular payments (29 per cent); and 34 per cent say they will be relying on their home equity to support them in retirement.

“What I want Canadians who are feeling a little overwhelmed in paying off their mortgages to know is that paying off their mortgage is totally achievable, and the great news is that a number of Canadians who were in the same position have reached the goal of being mortgage-free,” said David Stafford, Managing Director of Real Estate Secured Lending at Scotiabank. “With rates at historic lows, there’s never been a better time to take years off your mortgage.”

Stafford said the most common way people are reducing their mortgage is by switching from monthly to bi-weekly payments. Other options include increasing payments periodically, lump sum or pre-payment.

He said people don’t have to make major lifestyle changes.

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