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

Vancouver Island man who pleaded guilty to beating over drug debt handed nine-year jail sentence

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Vancouver Island’s longest, steepest, zip line nears completion

Mount Washington aims to thrill with 2.3-km drop reaching speeds approaching100 km/hr

Teen viral video star headlining first concert in hometown Nanaimo

Lauren Spencer-Smith, 15, has been recording new songs with Grammy-winning producer

The road to ruin: dealing with Vancouver Island’s dirty little trash secret

Ongoing illegal dumping problem near Ladysmith symbolic of a bigger issue

Editorial: It’s hard to believe people still drink and drive

People cannot claim ignorance, or lack of options, it’s laziness and stupidity, pure and simple

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Trudeau in Victoria to announce $79M investment in public transit

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund 118 more buses across B.C. to cut commutes

Most Read