This infographic from Statistics Canada shows what many Greater Victoria have likely already experienced: higher housing costs lead to higher family debt, which peaks in western Canada.

Greater Victoria paces Western Canada’s higher family debt levels

Two of the three regions with highest family debt levels are in Western Canada

The geography of Canadian family debt has a distinct west coast bias.

The west coast communities of Greater Victoria, with a debt-to-after-tax family ratio of 240, and Vancouver, with a ratio of 230, lead all Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).

Looking from west to east, debt levels then drop through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba before rising again in southern Ontario, with Toronto’s CMA debt ratio reaching 210. Debt levels then drop through Quebec, with Montreal ahead of Quebec City, to reach their low in Atlantic Canada, where New Brunswick’s Moncton ranks as Canada’s least indebted CMA with a ratio of 106. The national average is 165.

RELATED: Victoria leading the country for highest increase in debt-to-income rate

RELATED: Canadians are getting poorer and borrowing more money

RELATED: Rising global debt holding back growth, opening up vulnerabilities: central bank

So what accounts for the increases?

“Much of the increase in household debt in the post-recession period reflects the accumulation of mortgage liabilities on the household balance sheet,” the agency notes.

Higher mortgage liabilities in turn reflect higher home prices, which have risen 61 per cent in Victoria over the last five years. This figure means Victoria’s housing costs rose faster than the housing costs in Toronto, Canada’s largest CMA, where housing prices rose 58 per cent. Only Vancouver, with an increase of 68 per cent, recorded a higher spike than Victoria.

Victoria’s ratio of 240 in 2016 has doubled since 1999, when the region’s family debt level was also above the national average of 95, but not as pronounced as in 2016.

Overall, Victorians are accumulating more debt at a rate that is ‘significantly exceeding’ the rest of Canada.

The figures are not entirely discouraging. While the rising cost of housing has pushed more Canadian families into debt, their assets in the form of more valuable housing have also gone up — provided they can find somebody to purchase their homes once put up for sale.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich councillors slow to respond for feedback on council procedures

Among calls for procedural changes, staff still waiting to hear from six councillors

Saanich sponsors Jeux de la Francophonie giving $50,000 for the French-language Games

Couns. Susan Brice and Nathalie Chambers opposed funding, citing substantive and procedural concerns

VicPD arrest reportedly armed man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

The man was found near Centennial Square on Tuesday afternoon

Port Renfrew man charged with animal cruelty

Hot coffee poured on dog’s face, say police

Sarah McLachlan performs and donors raise $555,000 for inclusive outdoor activities

Power To Be reached their fundraising goal at their Nature Gala on July 12

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Most Read