According to this canwest article “Home is where the debt is”. Canadians are wealthier than ever, but carrying a record load of debt. In 2005 average canadian net worth increased by 1.4 times what it was in 1999, while our debt load increased by 1.5 times in the same period.
So we’ve got more money, but we also pay more bills.
If the amount we owe keeps growing at its current rate compared to our incomes, we’ll have to invent new types of math to keep our economy going.
Home is where the debt is with three-quarters of this debt taking the form of mortgages. The median value of mortgages in 2005 was up 17.5 per cent from 1999, when it was $76,600.
The second largest contributor to the increase in debt load was lines of credit, which more than doubled during the six-year period to roughly $68 billion. About 3.3 million families in Canada reported having a line of credit debt in 2005 and the median amount has jumped from $5,800 in 1999 to $9,000 in 2005.
Cars and student loans were also big, and increasing, sources of debt, Statistics Canada said. Credit card debt also placed a burden on an estimated 11 million families.
I sure wish they broke those studies down into a smaller focus. I would be very curious to see what Vancouver’s numbers look like compared to other parts of Canada.
UPDATE: I just found this article in realtytimes from last April that talks about Vancouvers deteriorating affordability problem and mentions this little statistic:
..B.C.’s provincial savings rate hit an all-time low of -7.9 per cent in 2004 “and likely retreated further since then.”
Thats the average for the entire Province, not just Vancouver, and its the worst savings rate /debt load in the country.