Mortgage debt growth is shrinking, according to Statistics Canada, signalling more prudent lending may be creating a healthier lending industry.
According to StatsCan, mortgage debt totalled $1.1 at the end of the first quarter this year, up a mere 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter and marking the slowest pace of growth in five years.
Meanwhile, consumer debt is actually on a downward trajectory, according to the government agency.
“Consumer credit debt edged down 0.3 per cent from the fourth quarter to $507 billion by quarter end,” according to Statistics Canada’s National Balance Sheet for the first quarter. “Consumer credit debt as a proportion of total outstanding household debt has generally been declining since the financial crisis.”
Household net worth grew by 2.5 per cent which was bolstered by a two per cent gain in the value of household real estate.
“On a per capita basis, household net worth rose to $222,600 in the first quarter,” the report states.
As for debt service ratios, they continue to chug along at low levels.
“The household debt service ratio, defined as household mortgage and non-mortgage interest paid divided by disposable income, continued to hover at historically low levels,” the report states. “Owner's equity as a percentage of real estate was 69.9% at the end of the first quarter, slightly higher than the 69.5% recorded at the end of the previous quarter.”