Most British Columbian homeowners are choosing the certainty of fixed-rate mortgages over the potential volatility of variable rates, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by CIBC and published March 30.
Some 58 per cent of BC homeowner respondents said they would opt for a fixed-rate mortgage – one percentage point higher than the 57 per cent of respondents across Canada who said the same.
Nationwide, just 30 per cent of homeowners said they would choose a variable rate mortgage, with 11 per cent undecided between fixed and variable rates.
“The poll results confirm what many of our clients are telling us, that they don't expect rates to go any lower and, in today’s housing market, they want the comfort and security of knowing exactly what their mortgage payments will be for the next four or five years,” said Barry Gollom, vice-president at CIBC.
The current historic-low interest rates have caused BC and Canadian homeowners to change their attitudes on fixed-rate mortgages over the past few years. Last year, 51 per cent of BC homeowners said they would choose a fixed rate (48 per cent nationwide). In 2011 that figure was just 38 per cent in BC, and 39 per cent across Canada.
“Homeowners have a rare chance to lock in at historically low rates,” added Gollom. “Many people may also be able to use this as an opportunity to make extra payments over that time so that they can pay off their mortgage sooner.”