BC personal debt passes shoulders, up to eyeballs

This is mostly stuff you’ve heard before.

Canadian personal debt loads continue to grow, now higher that many US bubble markets at their peak.

But here’s a number you may find surprising.

Here in BC if you strip out mortgage debt, the average consumer debt load is $38,672!

Thats nearly 40 grand in NON-MORTGAGE debt.

That means the amount we carry on credit cards, bank loans, lines of credits and car loans is 42.5 per cent higher than our fellow Canadians.

And that’s probably because, after paying for housing, we’re unable to find cash for other things that normally are part of a middle-class lifestyle.

On Tuesday, Royal Bank Economics reported on national housing affordability, pointing to a deterioration in affordability since the first quarter.

In major markets such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, the report says it is now “somewhat of a stretch for typical households to own a single-family home.”

But, in Vancouver, trying to buy a single-family home is more like being put on the rack.

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cock Rings

Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your web site in internet explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good element of other people will miss your wonderful writing due to this problem.

Go somewhere else if you don't like it

@ Obsessed with Softy?

You just broke your own supposed reason for outrage by mentioning his name in your post.

Grow up. It’s a free world.



Genworth IIF up $13.6B y/y in Q2. The net change for CMHC and Genworth was only down by $290MM in Q2.


CMHC Insured mortgages down by 10,000,000,000.00 over last year. 562 Billion and going down.

People paying off their debts very fast now.

Where is the doom and gloom talk about the 600 Billion dollar limit?

Everyone these days think they have it all figured out with respect to the housing market. Remember, the market is smarter than everyone.

Obsessed with Softy?

This blog has become unreadable. In my view, anybody who read Softy, responded to Softy, quoted Softy or mentioned the word Softy is an idiot.


$1.7M on E Pender.
What a beauty!

via The Thirties Grind

patient renter


Hilarious! Nicely done


I know a realtor who has made six figures a year for the last ten years (even ’08) who told me that he recently remortgaged his house and folded in his $80k HELOC, so now he’s “debt free”.

Oh, except for his credit cards, which he “thinks” collectively add up to about $50k.

So after ten years of being a success, he’s now $130k more in debt than when he started.

Gotta love realtor logic. Or is that an oxymoron?

Piss Off

To comment #9

We are not so innocent when it comes to peeing in public places:


Victoria BC spent $60,000 for a urinal.

Public urination was reaching a breaking point in the B.C. capital City. Workers kept a careful tally of the amount of urine collected; Within one year, they had counted more than 30,000 liters.


There are hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of Canadians that leave comments and opinions in regards to their own personal feelings on how the government, society, policy makers, politicians, etc.. are to blame for their own hardship and problems. Very rarely is anyone of the opinion (at least not openly) to admit that they made serious mistakes in their own personal judgments at various points in their own lives. People are quick to criticize and attack the winners and administrators of our society and demand full accountability from them without ever taking into consideration of how their own lack of accountability has shaped their current situation.



“There are no American soldiers in the vicinity” (Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Information Minister)

“Its a great time to buy!” (David Lereah, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors)

“There never was a bubble. There will be no crash” (Softy, road kill)


@ Softy

There will be no crash

Can you look into that crystal ball of yours and tell me what kind of winter we’re going to have?
I’d like to know if I should be bothering with winter tires.


“You have said repeatedly that Bears have been “wrong” for 12 years.”

Of course I have. And I’m right.

“What you apparently don’t understand is that the Bear argument isn’t simply “Vancouver real estate is a bad investment”. Instead, it’s “Vancouver real estate is a bad investment compared to other obvious alternatives”. ”

Tell that to stock investors in 2008. What is the return on the DOW since 2008? What is the return on Vancouver houses since 2008? The DOW is slightly higher. HOuses are way higher. Why do you pick your starting point as July 2009? Why not choose July 2008? Who is peddling BS?

And, for your information, the bear argument is that real estate is in a bubble that will crash. That argument is wrong. There never was a bubble. There will be no crash.


New Listings 131
Price Changes 82
Sold Listings 99




I call BS!

You have said repeatedly that Bears have been “wrong” for 12 years.

I have given you a concrete example of how your argument is incorrect. And I did so using the most favourable housing asset as compared to generic equity investments. Again, if we threw condos into the mix the comparison would be even greater.

What you apparently don’t understand is that the Bear argument isn’t simply “Vancouver real estate is a bad investment”. Instead, it’s “Vancouver real estate is a bad investment compared to other obvious alternatives”.

And that low risk tolerance argument is utter nonsense. If you’re risk averse you want stability and liquidity. I have doubts that RE fits the former but it certainly does not meet the latter. Just ask the City of Vancouver how liquid its OV investment was.


“So a Bear sitting with a $1 million in his pocket who decided to forego the Vancouver real estate market and instead invest in one of two pretty vanilla alternatives would have been right to do so.” The bear who invested in the DOW was not “right”. His investment performed better than real estate. There is no objectively “right” investment. There are only subjectively right investments, taking into consideration the invetor’s personal circumstances, risk tollerance and housing requirements. Very few people had the guts to invest in the DOW in July 2009 when the world was still falling appart. As I’ve said before, with two 50% down crashes in 10 years, people with low risk tollerance will not invest in stocks. They will look for alternatives. For them, a 52% increase in real estate is very nice because it comes… Read more »


Softly – you’re great. Really. But can I get you to admit that someone who decided to put $1 million into Vancouver detached housing in July 2009 would have been better off putting their money elsewhere?

For example, between July 09 and July 2013 detached housing (I’m going to do you a favour and ignore condos) has risen about 52% (from 800K to 1.22 million).

For the same period the DJIA rose 75%. Berkshire Hathaway went up 87% during this 4 year period.

So a Bear sitting with a $1 million in his pocket who decided to forego the Vancouver real estate market and instead invest in one of two pretty vanilla alternatives would have been right to do so.

Will you at least acknowledge that?


” People will just switch to variable”

Your knowledge of finance and bonds astounds me. You could be earning 7 figures managing fixed income portfolios with that kind of confidence. One wonders why you spend your time here.


I know people with that much. Friends of friends have a hundred grand in consumer debt before you count the mortgage. Both working professionals in their early thirties. Chances are that you aren’t hearing the whole story from your circle of friends, either. People in your social circle are more than happy to tell you (repeatedly) about their miraculous real estate gains, especially over dinner when the third bottle of wine has been opened and everyone is sharing intimate information and talking about life in Vancouver. But the same very candid friends will neglect to mention (or have no idea) what their cumulative LOC, VISA, and car payment debt is. Hell if you know anyone who makes car payments, that’s probably half of that stat right there. Late-model family car 1: $15,000 outstanding on lease Older family car 2: $4,500… Read more »


“have learned to do my analysis”

What does your analysis tell you about the impact of 2.6% variable rate mortgage on current Vancouver real estate prices?


You miss the point Softy, not that I am surprised. Just because something has not be proven does not mean it has been proven wrong. I have spent years dealing with markets and have learned to do my analysis, take my position and wait. And wait. And sometimes wait some more. (And take the predictions of bank economists with a grain of salt.)


“can you let us know what a professional bear is and where we can find one?”

Most professionals are smart enough not to be bearish on real estate. If the dark suits on bay street with phd (in econmics) behind their name turn bearish, I’ll turn bearish too.

The only professional bear is David Mandani.

Tell me this: why won’t people switching to variable mortgages keep the market flat?