Households across Canada have reached record-high debt levels, with credit-market debt including mortgages, consumer credit and non-mortgage loans growing 163.3 per cent.
Statistics Canada said this week that the leverage ratios among Canadian households jumped to a record in Q4 2014 as disposable income grew slower than borrowing.
Mortgage debt, in particular, went up 1.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Mortgage debt accounts for about two thirds of the total.
A recent report by credit monitoring firm Equifax revealed that the total amount of Canadian credit market debt, including mortgages, non-mortgage loans and consumer credit, has soared to $1.529tn at the end of 2014.
Industry watchers believe consumers are enticed to load up on debt as mortgages become cheaper and jobs in Canada are being sustained.
Meanwhile, the five-year conventional mortgage rates dropped to 4.74 per cent last month, the lowest in Bank of Canada (BoC) figures dating to 1975.
The debt-ratio data was compiled before the BoC slashed its interest rate early this year as weaker oil prices started to take effect into the economy.