More homeowners opting for long amortization

Canadians are taking longer to pay off their mortgages but don’t expect it to affect their retirement plans.

A new study from the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) showed 42 per cent of new mortgages in the last year went for an amortization period of more than 25 years. Five years ago, you couldn’t even qualify for an insured mortgage backed by the government that was amortized for more than 25 years.

In the same survey, CAAMP found those with extended amortization plan to retire on average at 61.9 years, while those with less than 25 years amortization plan to retire on average at 61.5 years.

“This data on expectations does not prove that actual retirement will be unaffected by recent trends in housing and mortgage markets,” the CAAMP report noted. “But it does suggest that consumers’ evaluations of their life-cycle options have not been materially altered.”

Homeowners opt for longer amortization periods because the monthly payment is lower when spread over 35 years instead of 25.