Most household debt stemming from mortgages – BoC data

by Ephraim Vecina on 06 Nov 2019

Mortgage debt continues to account for the largest portion of Canada’s household debt balance, figures from the Bank of Canada revealed.

As of September, mortgages represented $1.6 trillion of the nation’s outstanding household debt. This was a 4.2% annual increase, for a total of $63.8 billion from last year.

“The accumulation in September is also 16.7% higher than last year,” housing information hub Better Dwelling stated in its analysis of the BoC data. “Mortgage debt growth is accelerating, despite demands for a looser borrowing criteria.”

This pushed overall household debt to yet another new high during the month, with the nation’s household debt balance breaking through $2.24 trillion. This represented 3.8% annual growth, approximately up by $82 billion from a year ago.

More lenient credit requirements impelled much of these rises. A recent analysis by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association has warned that these trends have made it far easier for Canadians to overspend over the last few years.

Approximately 1.8 million households nationwide are setting aside more than 30% of their incomes on housing, while roughly 800,000 are spending more than 50% of their incomes on rental fees, the group stated.

“Paying too much for rent has become the new normal,” Association CEO Jill Atkey told Global News. “That takes a real toll on health, on time and quality of life.”

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