Saskatchewan home owners are the worst in Canada when it comes to paying mortgages on time, according to the Canadian Bankers Association.
As of mid-year 2019, the province’s arrears rate stood at 0.86%, which was the highest in the nation. CBA noted that this totalled to 1,118 mortgages in arrears for three or more months, out of the 130,106 extant mortgages in Saskatchewan at the time.
To compare, the national average arrears rate in this period was 0.23%. The rate was just 0.14% in BC, 0.35% in Manitoba, and 0.5% in Alberta.
Consumer demographics and sustained low interest rates in the years after the 2008-09 financial crisis were major drivers of the phenomenon, according to University of Regina economics professor Jason Childs.
“That made borrowing really, really attractive. So it made people take on a lot of consumer debt and a lot of household debt that might not have otherwise,” Childs told CKOM.com.
“Saskatchewan is relatively young, and comparison to British Columbia I think is kind of silly, because BC has a much older population. The older you are, the less likely you are to be taking on mortgage debt.”
Another danger is the trend of excessive borrowing, a trap which many Saskatchewan home owners fall into.
“If you are at your maximum carrying capacity for mortgage debt, but your wage stops rising and all of these other things go up, you can get yourself into trouble really fast,” Childs explained.