Average non-mortgage debt now over $40k

Betamax pointed out this article in the Vancouver Sun.

The average consumer debt load in Vancouver is over $40k, and that’s without mortgages on expensive property.

The average consumer debt in Vancouver, excluding mortgage, is the highest in Canada, according to a new report.

TransUnion’s quarterly analysis of Canadian credit trends, released on Wednesday, found that the average consumer’s total debt in the city in the third quarter of this year was $40,174. The second-highest was Calgary’s debt, at $37,920.

Nationally, the average consumer debt was $27,355.

Read the full article here.

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Saving and being sensible is futile. May as well borrow and spend and get deep in debt.

Go for it. When all is said and done Canada will look like Spain does today. Spain’s housing bubble lasted 11 years and looked very similar to ours. Who do you think are better off post bubble – the people who blew their brains out on credit and housing or those who didn’t?



Bixi, the company that is supposed to supply Vancouver’s $6-million Bike Share program, is “insolvent or imminently insolvent”.




Actually borrowers have been subsidizing the savers. Without spending there cannot be any saving. For the saver to run a surplus someone else have to run a deficit, that’s simple arithmetic. This can be other households, companies or the government but those dollars you squirrel away have to come from somewhere.


Good post on the Victoria bubble site: koozdra said… One hundred thousand dollars. If one won this amount of money in the lottery one would say wow that’s a lot of money. You would sit back and think what should I do with this large sum. Renovate the house? Go on vacation? Buy an investment rental? A new car perhaps (not buy, of course, but finance). But what happens when you have these kinds of winnings happening all over the country? What happens when the typical house goes up that amount in ten years? What happens when the government is willing to insure home equity lines of credit for a large proportion of your homes value? Maybe you could not notice that your country is in recession. Maybe delinquency rates would drop. Everyone is rich after all. I could just… Read more »


Space is right. Saving and being sensible is futile.

May as well borrow and spend and get deep in debt.

Do we really think the Gov is going to allow so many people to go under? No! They will rather kill and roast savers first.

heck they would rather mail hundred dollar bills to everyone. That’s what they are doing in the US, except the only addresses are on Wall Street.


: Wow! If I’m not mistaken that is the first +100% sales/new list ratio for this calendar year.

Well done, bulls! Just another datum in this insane market, though aren’t we typically in the part of the year where sales/new lists are higher (due to generally lower-than-average new lists)?

Anyway, back to the Canucks game for me.

Bull! Bull! Bull!

Don’t worry bears, you still have hope!


@patriotz, I’m not saying the GoC will default on its obligations but you can’t squeeze blood from a stone. Those borrowers who lived a high life on borrowed money isn’t going to have the $$ to pay back the loans and it’s unlikely you will recover much from them. Also GoC don’t cover most consumer debts so losses will have to be taken by someone and it sure wouldn’t be the big banks. If the GoC ends up covering the loss then they will either do it via more debt and/or taxes which will be paid for by savers and borrowers alike. Since savers saved rather than spend, it necessarily mean they had a lower standard of living than borrowers with equal economic earning power but choose to live beyond their means. So borrowers wins on having had a few… Read more »


New Listings 162
Price Changes 90
Sold Listings 166


stong kong

Norman Chan: It’s uncertain whether property market entering bearish cycle

“HKMA Chief Executive Norman Chan attended the conference of Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs this morning and said the average number of transactions in the local property market is about 3800 per month, indicating material decline when compared to about 11000 in 2010.”

“Chan added that according to the Rating and Valuation Department data, the price of large units fell 2.2% since February this year, but that of the small to medium sized units rose 2.4% in contrast, so he is not certain whether the market is entering a bearish cycle”



Mac: Now that we have hindsight, we know the same people pushing those mortgages on the poor would cross the hall, package them up with better products and take bets against them.

Most of the shenanigans in the US housing market financing came to light after prices corrected. The same will happen here.


Take the 40K consumer debt with a grain of salt. Most home owners will roll consumer debt into their mortgage to get the lowest rate.


For all those 0% car loans, I believe there is almost always a lower cash price which would change that 0% interest rate to something more like 5% to 7% interest rate. I have never heard someone able to purchase a car with loan at the same price as paying all cash. Exactly. I have bought many new vehicles and I have never seen 0% car loan offered without a cash discount which makes the actual interest higher than you can get from a bank. I wouldn’t buy a new car unless I have the cash to pay for it outright but of course if someone would give me money for free I would take it and invest my capital. As stated in most cases you end up paying 5% to 7% when factoring in fees and cash discounts. It… Read more »


“Still ‘behind’”

I never stated the stock market outperformed a property investment, and I never stated that investing in property in the early 2000s was a bad investment decision, but at least it’s not so bad.

And “still behind” assumes market value holds. Not predicting the future or anything, but I have more confidence in one holding better relative to the other.


@23: “Face it, the last 5 years have seen savers subsidizing the borrowers and when thing finally breaks, savers will not be getting their money back”

Really now. You think the GoC is going to default on its obligations?

5 years...

In terms of commentary on being ‘prudent’ and the choices of staying in cash, real estate, and/or a balanced portfolio, let me clarify that I have been invested in a six figure balanced portfolio for some time….

Growing a six figure (re) balanced portfolio over time, using the difference between rent vs mortgage payments as growth, with an average rare of return of 7%, has not compared with owning a house in South Surrey…

Still ‘behind’….


@30: “Does anybody know if average consumer debt is average for ALL residents of Vancouver or only the average for those residents who owe non mortgage debt?”

The report from TransUnion (on their website) says “per person” and makes no mention of excluding those with no debt.


“Your basis of thought is fear”

You mean citing the hypothetical case of someone invested in a rebalanced portfolio making up investments aligned with the broader economy is “fear”?

I’m just some anonymous commenter on the internets, but I can point my rear-view mirror at three non-exhaustive scenarios: renting and in cash, owning, and renting and invested in the broad economy. Not saying number three is superior, but it’s not like owning is vastly superior either.


No offence Jesse but your line if thinking is exactly what I avoid these days. I’m sorry to say but, It will not make you money!

You would say no to :

1) investing in a sfd home in metro Vancouver.

2) loading up on stocks on the next correction.

3) It is going to be a very long time before our bank raises rates.

Your basis of thought is fear. It will keep you confined.


5 Years :

I stopped listening to bear sites after reading and incorporating the book “Boom Bust and Echo” into my decisions.

Biggest mistake I ever made.

Never again will I listen to blogs like these, Garth turner. Madani, etc.

They are a minority and policies are made with the wishes of the majority. That is why DOW 20,000 will seem like a ludicrous scenario for doomers. Yet, that is exactly what is going to happen.

I’m buying more stocks on the next correction. 20K on the DOW will come..The majority expect it. Be careful going against the grain.


“being prudent in your finances is really stupid when the masses follow the beat of a different drum”

You know, what “being prudent” means for many is not taking risk, staying in cash, and hoping to eventually buy something coveted as safe for a discount.

A conservatively rebalanced portfolio — with some real estate as well as other sectors of the economy — has done very well over not only the past five years but also over the brunt of the run-up starting in the early 2000s. Not sure what people are complaining about, really, but perhaps a lot of it is “looking back” at past inaction and not really about real estate.

Ford Prefect

Does anybody know if average consumer debt is average for ALL residents of Vancouver or only the average for those residents who owe non mortgage debt? I know many people, self included, who abhor debt and have been debt free for many years. So is it possible that the average, including debt free individuals, is this high?


“People with no education, and a vested interest, actually called it right” I know it may be horrible to contemplate, but courses of history have shown that low rates, even negative real rates, have not permanently distorted asset prices. Fund costs and account flows can result in transfers of wealth but are only proxies for the capital that they represent. Canada appears dead man walking when it comes to monetary policy effectiveness. They may have no choice but to move to quantitative regime if they hit ZIRP, which is a distinct possibility if China’s investment spending and Canadian real estate hit soft patches. I don’t think manufacturing or US exports are enough to compensate given how concentrated construction and resource booms have been over the past decade. That means, yes, there is a distinct possibility of rates staying low for… Read more »



heaters too 🙂


“Getting wet while shopping and lugging shopping bags arounds, not fun!”

They can just install wide awnings on every building that cover most of the sidewalks.