Real Estate

Canadians struggle with near-record household debt

Flock to U.S. housing market?

Canadians are currently bearing nearly record levels of household debt. However homeowners are thriving at delinquency rates improve, according to an article by Katia Dmitrieva for Bloomberg.

Mortgage delinquency rates and credit scores improved in the fourth quarter of 2016, and homeowners were less likely to default or file for bankruptcy, the article states.

From the article:

New financing rules to tighten access to insured mortgage credit and ensure new homebuyers have a sufficient buffer amid higher interest rates were introduced in the quarter which “should help insulate households from rising mortgage-service costs,” according to the report. The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate last week as the economy picked up.

But while homebuyers are getting better at paying their mortgage, and the economy continues to pick up, the country’s attempt to cool the boiling housing market held a diminishing effect on home sales.

From the article:

The country’s regulators and various levels of government have tried to cool the housing market in the last few years, with several mortgage, bank, and insurance rules announced in the past 10 months alone. The regulations have already contributed to a slide in sales and in some cases prices in the country’s largest city and financial capital, Toronto.

So where are those potential sales going? As it turns out, many are flocking to the U.S. housing market. A new report from the National Association of Realtors shows foreign investment in the housing market surged 49% over the past year.

This surge was due largely to the increase in Canadian homebuyers, which increased from $8.9 billion in transactions last year to $19 billion this year, an all new high for Canada.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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