Canadians paying off their mortgages

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A study released Tuesday, indicating a healthy mortgage industry, may stop Finance Minister Joe Oliver in his tracks

“The dream of mortgage freedom is less than 10 years away for 37 per cent of Canadian mortgage holders, according to Scotiabank's Mortgage Landscape Study,” an official release from Scotiabank states. “More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of mortgage holders have taken steps to pay off their mortgage faster, including increasing the frequency of regular payments (39 per cent), increasing regular payment amounts (25 per cent), and making additional lump sum payments (24 per cent).”

The study included 500 mortgage holders and 260 mortgage intenders and was conducted over the course of an 11 day period in late 2013. The results come just days after Joe Oliver made his initial comments about the mortgage industry, stating he would be keeping a watchful eye; not unlike his predecessor, Jim Flaherty.

“Our government has taken action in the past to reduce consumer indebtedness and the government's exposure to the housing market," Oliver told CTV News last Thursday. "I will continue to monitor the market closely."

But with Canadians showing healthy mortgage payback habits – at least according to this sample – Oliver may focus his sights on other areas of finance for the time being.

It was also found that 54 per cent of mortgage holders are able to make additional payments. However, 16 per cent of participants indicated they would not be able to handle an increase in their current payments; meaning any increase to long-term rates would have an adverse effect on quite a few Canadians.

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