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Sacrificing Personalized Mortgage Advice…For a Price

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People like talking to people for mortgage recommendations. They always have.

But here’s something that we didn’t realize until now. The majority of mortgage shoppers say they’d trade all of that in-person advice for a lower rate.

That was the central finding in Rates.ca’s just-released survey results on mortgage shopping behaviour.

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A Closer Look at the Numbers

For the first time we can recall, prospective mortgage shoppers revealed three things about themselves:

  • 18% said they’d prefer a lender that processed their mortgage all online — so they didn’t have to speak to anyone
  • 16% said they would not deal with a lender that doesn’t offer in-person or phone support, regardless of the rate
  • 45% said they’d only consider such an online-only lender if it meant saving money.

Here’s how much that 45% say they'd have to save on the interest rate in order to sway them from using a traditional lender:

  • 11% said 0.05%-point
  • 8% said 0.10%-point
  • 7% said 0.15%-point
  • 19% said 0.20%-point or more.

Interestingly, only 23% cited the lender’s brand name as being an important consideration when selecting a mortgage.

What It Means

As lenders make it easier for people to get great mortgage advice directly from their websites, that will motivate more consumers to use such technology.

This trend will lead to lower personnel costs among “digital” lenders and lenders will pass on the savings in the form of lower interest rates. And as the survey shows, most consumers are now prepared to entertain this model.

In the next few years, more and more lenders will create end-to-end “digital mortgages” to make this savings possible. In fact, they already exist now, but it’s very early days.

More on the Numbers

Rates.ca’s survey was conducted by Leger Marketing in December. It polled 1,526 Canadians of which 633 were mortgage shoppers. A mortgage shopper was defined as someone who currently had a mortgage or was planning to get one in the next six months. In other words, roughly 4 in 10 Canadians have a mortgage or will get one in the near future.

Keep an eye out here in the next few days for more brand-new findings from Rate.ca’s survey.