Nearly three-quarters of Canadians with a mortgage hope to be mortgage-free by the time they reach age 65, but one-third of Canadians over the age of 55 still have 16 or more years left on their mortgage term, according to the Royal Bank of Canada's (RBC) latest Housing Snapshot poll.
According to the RBC poll, Canadians overwhelmingly say that a low interest rate is the most important feature when choosing a mortgage (96%), while almost nine-in-10 say that accelerated payment options (85%) and flexible payment options (88%) are important and desirable features.
Among the nation's homeowners, the number of mortgage-free Canadians has increased slightly to 41% in the fourth quarter, from 38% in the first quarter – the highest level since 2006. Looking ahead, 18% of Canadians expect rates will rise less than 1%, while 26% think interest rates will rise more than 1% in the same time period.
‘Though many Canadians expect interest rates to stay the same over the next year, they should still keep in mind that it's important to build some wiggle room into your budget to prepare for any extra costs or future rate increases,’ says Claude DeMone, director of strategy for home equity financing at RBC.