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The homebuying process can be overwhelming for anybody, but even more so for first-time homebuyers.

But whether for a first-time home purchase or a second or third, all homebuyers benefit from guidance and support from professionals to help them navigate the many hurdles along the way.

That was one of the key findings in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) 2023 Mortgage Consumer Survey.

Homebuyers are "seeking more online and offline information than ever before,” reads the report. "While online resources remain critical, especially to reach a younger crowd, human interactions with professionals should not be neglected, especially at key moments in the client’s journey.”

The report found professional advice can be invaluable when it comes to everything from the impact of interest rates on mortgage payments to discussions about future unexpected costs and over the longer term through follow-up contact.

According to CMHC’s findings, more than four out of 10 homebuyers (43%) used a mortgage broker in 2023. That percentage was even higher in Ontario and British Columbia, and among first-time homebuyers and those refinancing their mortgage.

The report noted that consumer satisfaction took a hit in 2023, in part due to fewer and less-appealing rate offers being presented to them in today’s high—interest rate environment.

However, the results did show that consumers who had follow-up contact with their broker in relation to rising rates were "significantly” more satisfied than those who didn’t.

Other key findings

 Among the other key findings in CMHC’s report are the top three factors homebuyers consider most important when buying a home:

· Price/affordability (69%)

· Type of home (37%)

· Condition of home (37%)

Affordability concerns are impacting a growing number of buyers, with 44% saying they have already been impacted by rising interest rates, and another 23% saying they will soon be impacted. Of those who have already felt the effects of higher rates, 53% say they’ve had difficulty maintaining their debt payments.

Despite the challenging rate environment, however, a large majority of buyers continue to believe that homeownership is a good long-term financial investment, with 80% of first-time buyers agreeing with that statement and 85% of repeat buyers in agreement.

If you count yourself among those who are either looking to get into the housing market or are considering your future financing options with your current mortgage, be sure to contact me today and we can thoroughly walk you through the options available to you.