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From Angus Reid Institute

Homebuyers ‘very worried’ about higher payments

Half of variable rate mortgage holders having a tough time financially; one-in-three with fixed rate

May 2, 2023 – The Bank of Canada held its key rate firm in April, but five more dates are set aside for possible rate changes in 2023. While Canadians – particularly in urban centres – have been voicing concern about housing affordability for years, the Bank’s decision to raise its target overnight rate eight times since the beginning of 2022, and the subsequent rise in mortgage lending rates, has many of those already in the housing market now adding their voices to the affordability crisis.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds three-in-ten (30%) having a tough or difficult time with their mortgage, rising to half (51%) among those who have a variable rate.

This adds further anxiety to a fiscal environment where mortgage defaults and foreclosures have already begun to rise.

Regardless of what type of mortgage they hold – fixed, variable or other – Canadian homeowners are largely unified in their concerns about what the interest rate hikes could mean for their next renewal. Three-quarters (77%) say they are worried about the additional cost future renegotiations could bring.

These concerns are near unanimous (91%) among those whose mortgage terms are in their infancy, with 25 or more years left in their amortization schedule and drop slightly below a majority for those who have five or fewer years to go (44%).

And whether you're paying a mortgage, renting, or otherwise, would you say the financial aspect of this is:

More Key Findings

Variable Rates

Half of those with a variable rate mortgage say they have recently taken money out from a savings account they try not to touch (50%). While renters are less likely to have done this (41%), they are more likely to have borrowed from friends or family (21%) than owners (9%) to make ends meet.

Selling at a Loss

Nearly one-in-five homeowners (18%) say they would lose money if they were forced to sell their home. This proportion rises to one-quarter (24%) among those whose mortgage term exceeds 25 years.

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from March 30-31, 2023, among a representative randomized sample of 1,600 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

For detailed results by mortgage term, type of mortgage, renters and owners, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – Michael Tuszynsk, Pexels

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From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.

For detailed breakdown of the results, visit

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