Household debt levels in this country continue to rise - but how much debt is too much?
Shawn Stillman - Co-founder and mortgage broker - Mortgage Outlet
“No – I don’t think the current methodology is capable of accurately measuring household indebtedness, given that many workers in the ‘gig economy’ are either not reporting or under-reporting income. Given the increase in cash work, side jobs and such revenue streams as driving for Uber or renting out an apartment on Airbnb, income that was previously measurable might not be reported.
Statistics Canada gets its income data from the CRA; if income is under-reported, it could appear that debt-to-income levels have increased, when in reality it could just be that reported levels of income have not kept pace.”
James Laird - President - CanWise Financial
“It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that record low interest rates have led to record debt levels. When money is cheap, people borrow lots of it, which isn’t a bad thing as long households have used the money to secure real assets and build wealth, which generally they have.
Any household that has spent borrowed funds on things like cars and travel will feel pinched when rates rise.”
Ron Butler - Mortgage broker - Butler Mortgage
“In British Columbia, mortgage origination has fallen 26%; I predict 2019 will be the lowest mortgage origination year in Canada in the last 20 years so. Household indebtedness is headed down, whether it wants to or not. I think if we wait to see the results of the second quarter of the current year, we will have confirmation.
This may be the beginning of a big property value and real estate activity shift in this country, and we may have other things to worry about than household indebtedness over the next two years.”