Canadians deep in debt and getting deeper

The Globe and Mail nicely sums up the current Canadian obsession with taking on household debt. This infographic has all the pretty charts related to the current situation in which current debt totals a record $1.8 trillion. Just over a trillion of that is Mortgage debt, with the other big growth seen in lines of credit and car loans.

One Trillion is a big number and it can be hard to visualize.  Here’s one way to put it into perspective:

If you spent $1-million every day, it would take you 2,740 years to spend $1-trillion.

Albertans carry the largest debt to income ratio followed by BC. It seems the nation loves debt, but the west loves it best.

Read the full article here.

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…They also know there is a high risk of a RE crash in Toronto going forward, and are scared to death they may be blamed for it …

The flaw in your argument is that Toronto (at least the part with all the condos) always votes Liberal so there’s no loss to the big C’s for pissing off Toronto (although I agree with your sentiment, the C’s don’t want to be blamed for a crash which may be worse at it’s epicenter – Toronto)


….if we ended the CBC the quality of existing news organizations would increase or they would face a new private competitor….

I don’t think so. Nobody is going into that business. Sun news just went broke!

The real reason news is dumbed-down is not because that’s what the audience wants, it’s because dumb is cheap – nobody can afford to do old fashions journalism an more.

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Folks, while your on the petitions page please don’t forget to sign this one as well.

I’m sure Jinpig will take this very seriously as he’s munching on a paw.

Gnomes of Zurich


You are looking at the clouds that have been passing over us.
That have brought low rates & money printing.
Driving asset bubbles and home price inflation.
There are new clouds on the horizon.
That will bring the easing of the easing.
Gradually, like a python.
Slowly squeezing the life out of the over leveraged.


Charles Hugh Smith writes about hot money in the bubblicious RE market in San Francisco. There are of course some differences from Vancouver RE, such as more locally generated hot money in SF, higher local salaries in SF, etc, that are stabilizing factors!


@70 I think there are some storm clouds right now. BC lost almost 30,000 jobs last month and unemployment jumped quite a bit. These statistics are definitely volatile so you can’t read too much into any given month. But I have personally seen a lot of layoffs in BC across a number of companies. A lot of these layoffs were related to the downturn in oil and gas investment in Alberta. Strangely though, Alberta added jobs last month. But, I think what happens in a downturn is companies in Alberta use less ‘Satellite’ workers and keep the jobs local. I think BC will be fine, but I also don’t think we’re going to post spectacular growth numbers. I still believe that we aren’t going to see a housing crash and that we are more likely to stagnate. I don’t see… Read more »

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Nice style, but sentences short on rhyme and your mother would definitely mind.


“Twists in bond market drive key rate to 5-month high”, Yahoo News “A key borrowing rate shot to a five-month high Tuesday morning, as traders around the world continued to sell off big government bonds.” ” Incredibly cheap mortgages aren’t quite as cheap. The 10-year rate acts like an anchor for borrowing costs throughout the economy, and its plunge in recent years sliced mortgage rates nearly in half, knocking them to the lowest levels since long-term mortgages started in the 1950s.” “In November 2012, the 30-year mortgage rate hit a record low of 3.31 percent. A decade ago, the average rate was 5.9 percent. The bond market’s recent drop has turned that trend in the opposite direction, nudging mortgage rates up. Over the past three months, the average 30-year mortgage has climbed from 3.59 percent to 3.80 percent, according… Read more »


Wall Street Journal; “European Bonds, Stocks Hit by Renewed Selloff”

“European bonds and stocks were hit with a renewed selloff Tuesday, as recent signs of a return to stability in the market proved short-lived.”

“The latest wave of selling was sparked by Monday’s weakness in the U.S. Treasury market, where 10-year yields surged to their highest closing level in more than five months as investors prepared for sales of new debt.”

UBC in crisis mode

Unless you (voters) make this an election issue, the petition is useless. Now the server is under pressure:

Gnomes of Zurich

Re 59.

Finance is a gun. Politics is knowing when to pull the trigger.

Yellen has cocked her gun. The markets know this.

Home buyers in Van are completely unawares of finance, guns, or politics.

Home renters flail with red herring petitions.

Storm clouds brew. Rain for some. A new dawn for others.

Bull! Bull! Bull!


it’s hovering between denial and despair.

Bull! Bull! Bull!



don’t tell that to the bears, they are still waiting for the crash! how is the bear desperate index this morning?

Bull! Bull! Bull!


Realtor David Richardson’s last four listings sold for around $200,000 over asking and most of the offers his clients receive have no subjects.

“All cash offers, no conditions with a bank draft attached, those are the offers to pay attention to,” said Richardson.

anyone who has ever been on either end of a real estate transaction in the lower mainland will tell you the same thing. in fact they have been saying this for more than a decade.

Westside Realtor

Bond bubble busted?

Probably not.

But, could see mtg rates rise across the board this week, according to coffee talk with mtg brokers.

Will cause, at least in isolation, a bit of a spike in sales as the gre,,at unwashed rush to lock in rates.

Then the real estate market bust we have been calling for for so long.

This could get interesting.



Growing popularity of home equity lines of credit spurs debt warnings

Consumer advocates are raising concerns about the escalating use of home equity lines of credit, warning that many people are finding it hard to resist the temptation of such a huge and easily accessible borrowing option.

For many people, home equity lines of credit have replaced credit cards as their top source of borrowing. Outstanding balances on lines of credit soared to $266-billion in March, 2015, from $100-billion in 2005 and just $35-billion in 2000, according to Statistics Canada


@52: “The only way to make something happen on this issue is to make it an election issue, and get the parties to build election promises around it.”

The Federal parties don’t give a hoot about Vancouver. The election is going to be decided in Toronto.

They also know there is a high risk of a RE crash in Toronto going forward, and are scared to death they may be blamed for it (as Bob Rae was blamed by many, unjustifiably, for the 90’s crash in Toronto). So if you think any Federal party is going to campaign for any policies to bring down RE prices you can forget it.


A house-poor couple confronts a looming cash crunch

Vicky and Sandhya Bhardwaj are expecting their first child in August. Once their son arrives, the couple will be living dangerously close to their financial edge.

Mr. Bhardwaj’s entire paycheque – he earns $73,000 a year – goes toward the mortgage payments on the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom Mississauga house they bought in 2011 for $747,000. Mrs. Bhardwaj’s salary of $55,000 covers everything else, from utilities, groceries, and gas and insurance on their cars, to the interest on their two lines of credit and credit card.

OK, so four years ago they shelled out $747K – about six times their combined incomes – for 4 bedrooms, and 5 1/2 bathrooms, to house 2 people.

I would say Toronto has an empty house problem, but not the kind people talk about.




Done and done, emailed Chandra Herbert. Let’s see if we hear anything from this.

We pay taxes and they’re public servants, right? I wonder if I can get him to come over and mind the kids once in a while, earn his keep 🙂


vangrl – here’s my condo anecdote. Friend of mine was living on West 3rd in a beautiful rental condo with 400sqft deck with their dog, right up from Kits Beach. Paid about $900. Place was put on the market for 399k and she couldn’t afford it so, having a big dog and being in a panic about all the “no dogs” rentals, she bought a 2 bd in P Moody for 279k in 2007. Nice place but it isn’t Kits. Fast forward 8 years. She’s been paying about $1800/month for all these years for the condo (mortgage, strata, tax, heat & hot water) on a bi-monthly mortgage and this has left her with little money to spend on other things. No holidays, dinners out are a rarity etc. So she’s got rich on equity appreciation, right? RIGHT? Not quite. So… Read more »


“Don Coxe: It’s time to rethink the bond market before it’s too late”, Globe & Mail “Since the crash forced central bankers to put the global economy on life support, the supply of publicly traded debt has been increasing faster than the numbers of Black Death victims during the 1340s.” “That bond yields have been declining while supplies have been soaring is largely due to buying by central banks,” “Those low rates were meant to stimulate economic growth, but they have, to date, done more to boost prices of stocks and homes than GDPs.” “As the Bank of Canada has been lamenting month after month, lower and lower mortgage rates mean higher and higher home prices, and rising home prices mean even more borrowing as the central bank is forced to cut its rate in response to a slowing… Read more »