Most Canadians conservative with their homes despite low rates

ING DIRECT survey finds conventional mortgages and amortizations still popular

TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Despite close to a decade of historically low interest rates, Canadians' behavior is surprisingly conservative on the mortgage front, according to a recent survey commissioned by ING DIRECT, Canada's sixth largest mortgage lender. The poll, conducted by Vision Critical, found that more than a third (36%) of those Canadians carrying a mortgage have conventional mortgages and three quarters (75%) have mortgages with amortizations of 25 years or less.

"At ING DIRECT we've always encouraged our clients to put a larger down payment on their home if they can, and to pay off more of their mortgage whenever they have the opportunity. It looks like Canadians are heeding this advice and considering the impact of their choices, both today and over the long term," says Peter Aceto, President and CEO at ING DIRECT.

Those living in BC were most likely to take out a conventional mortgage, with more than half (52%) indicating they put a down payment of more than 20 per cent on their homes. In Ontario, 41 per cent have a conventional mortgage, followed by Alberta (31%) and Quebec (27%). Of those likely to take out a mortgage in the next six months, 21 per cent plan to take out a conventional mortgage.

Not surprisingly, almost three quarters of respondents (71%) indicate that rate is the most important factor when choosing a mortgage provider. Less than one fifth of Canadians look at other options like terms (10%) and prepayment options (6%).

"With mortgage rates making their return to normal levels, it's natural for homeowners to be looking at rates when shopping for a mortgage, but there are other factors people should consider," says Aceto. "Putting some extra money towards your mortgage whenever possible really adds up, and can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. Flexible prepayment options are certainly a feature homeowners should look for when shopping for a mortgage."

ING DIRECT's unmortgage® allows Canadians the freedom to increase their regular payments by up to 25% of the original payment amount each year and to make lump sum payments throughout the year, totalling up to 25% of the original mortgage amount. According to the poll, over half of Canadians (53%) plan to pay off their mortgage sooner than their amortization period, meaning they will pay less interest and save significantly over the long term.

Canadians living in Alberta plan to pay off their mortgages sooner, with nearly two thirds of respondents indicating they plan to pay off their homes before the end of their amortization period (64%) Quebecers are least likely to repay their mortgages sooner, with 32 per cent responding they hadn't planned on doing so. One fifth of Ontarians (21%) and British Columbians (20%) have no plans to pay off their mortgages early.

Survey Methodology
On March 10, 2011, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,062 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About ING DIRECT
ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.7 million Clients and more than $37.6 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no fee daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $4.5 billion in interest to clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3743).

Follow Peter Aceto on Twitter at: Twitter.com/CEO_INGDIRECT

And find ING DIRECT at: Facebook.com/SuperStarSaver; Twitter.com/SuperStarSaver; YouTube.com/SuperStarSaver

SOURCE ING DIRECT

For further information:

For additional information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
Amanda Petriglia, ING DIRECT
647-259-5797
apetriglia@ingdirect.ca

Lisa Naccarato, ING DIRECT
416-758-5072
lnaccarato@ingdirect.ca

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ING DIRECT

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