A new study released by the Vanier Institute of the Family suggests average household debt is rising at an alarming pace and Canadians'' mortgage and credit card payments are suffering.
"At the household level, this recession is not over," said Clarence Lochhead, executive director of the Ottawa-based Vanier Institute. "For far too many, there is too little income, too much spending, too little saving and too much debt."
The study found that average household debt in Canada climbed to $96,100 in 2009, creating a record-high debt-to-income ratio of 145 per cent. Another finding was a 50 per cent increase in mortgages running 90 days or more in arrears in 2009 compared to 2008.
The report''s author, Roger Sauvé, also flagged concerns over a housing bubble. He said in the past 20 years, house prices have averaged 3.7 times household earnings and now that number is at five times earnings, with real estate providing 48 per cent of the net worth of Canadian households.