In its latest study that looked at active credit files across Canada, credit monitoring firm TransUnion revealed that as of the end of June 2017, the average mortgage debt load nationally is now at $198,781, representing a nearly 5-per-cent year-over-year growth.
Soaring home prices played a major role in this increase. So far, however, the vast majority of Canadians remain updated with their mortgage bills: delinquency rates (defined as payment delays of more than 60 days) declined for the third consecutive quarter, down to 0.56 per cent.
“Despite increases in mortgage debt, serious delinquency rates remain low with very little volatility observed over the past two years,” TransUnion Canada director of research and analysis Matt Fabian said in a news release, as quoted by CBC News
. “Consumers have so far been able to manage their mortgage obligations despite the increasing balance levels.”
The study noted that apart from people borrowing more, the number of people borrowing is also on the rise.
“The total number of active mortgage accounts grew annually to 6.0 million, an increase of 1.2 per cent from last year,” the TransUnion report stated.
In addition, other types of debt are swelling across Canada. On average, Canadians owed $22,154 excluding any mortgage, representing a 2.7-per-cent annual growth rate. The average credit card balance stood at $2,840 as of the end of June, while the auto loan average was at $19,087.
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Canadians are now holding record-high levels of mortgage debt, but this does not appear to be interfering with their ability to service these loans as the proportion of late payments is sliding even lower.