In both Fall 2010 and Fall 2011, the Maritz/CAAMP study investigated consumer attitudes on some current issues related to housing markets and mortgages. Overall the results were widely distributed, there were a few exceptions where results were clustered, however the responses maybe considered to be inconsistent.
- In particular, Canadians largely agree with the proposition that “as a whole, Canadians have too much debt”.
- On the other hand, among Canadians who have mortgages, few agree that they “regret taking on the size of mortgage I did”. In addition, there is substantial agreement that mortgages are “good debt”.
- These answers portray opinions that “other people” have taken on too much debt, but as individuals most are comfortable with the debts that they have taken on. The gap between these perspectives is intriguing.
CAAMP’s previous research on mortgage indebtedness has found that Canadians –both borrowers and lenders – have been prudent with regard to mortgages. It might be that the fearful opinions about overall debt have been influenced by statements in the media, moreso than by the actual behaviour of Canadians.
Another set of contrasting results is also interesting:
- A high percentage of Canadians agree with the proposition that “low interest rates have meant that a lot of Canadians became homeowners over the past few years who should probably not be homeowners”.
- But, even more of us agree that “real estate in Canada is a good long-term investment”. In addition, there is widespread agreement that “I/my family would be well-positioned to weather a potential downturn in home prices”
Again, the author saws some inconsistency, and wonders whether statements in the media have influenced many Canadians to believe that other people (“but not me”) have been irresponsible.
What are your thoughts?
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