The Financial Post reports in its Thursday, May 23, edition that Canadian household debt reached a record high at the end of last year even as mortgage activity slowed, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said in a report out Wednesday.
A Canadian Press dispatch to the Post reports that the debt to income ratio of Canadians hit a record high of 178.5 per cent in the fourth quarter last year as mortgage holders continued to take on non- mortgage debt.
The ratio increased as average monthly required payments rose 4.5 per cent compared with a year earlier, while disposable income rose only 2.5 per cent, the agency said.
Debt levels rose as average balances for credit cards and lines of credit grew at a faster pace than in 2017, especially in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto, it said.
Delinquency rates, however, remain low and stable, said CMHC analyst Genevieve Lapointe in the report.
"Despite high debt levels, delinquency rates remain low and the number of highly indebted and more vulnerable consumers has decreased."
The mortgage delinquency rate came in at 0.3 per cent, up 0.01 of a percentage point, while the share of mortgages held by those with credit scores below 600 continued to trend lower.
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