Mortgage-holding, ownership rates in lockstep at the Prairies

by Ephraim Vecina05 Mar 2019

The proportion of consumers holding mortgages increased in Edmonton, shrunk in Regina, and remained stable in Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, according to the CMHC’s latest Mortgage and Consumer Credit Trends report, which covered Q3 2018.

Calgary had the largest share of mortgage holders, with 33% of consumers having mortgages. The city also has a remarkably high 72.9% home ownership rate.

On the other hand, Winnipeg had the lowest mortgage-holding rate at 29%. Similarly, ownership levels were on the lower end of the scale, with 67.3% of households having ownership.

Average Equifax credit scores in the major Prairie region CMAs remained at excellent levels in the third quarter, fortunately, with the highest at Winnipeg (score of 766) and the lowest at Regina (still a healthy score of 759).

Read more: Canadian mortgage delinquency falls as overall balance rises

Robust employment is also helping moderate mortgage delinquencies in the Prairies, especially in Calgary (with an average of 0.32% delinquency) and Edmonton (a high of 0.57%).

Winnipeg especially benefited from economic and jobs growth, with delinquencies (0.25%) running lower than the nationwide rate of 0.28%.

Meanwhile, Regina had a larger-than-expected delinquency rate (with a high of 0.9%) due to mounting unemployment, coupled with higher mortgage rates and multiple pressures on housing prices.

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