Housing sector value surges by more than $500 billion

The value of Canadians’ homes and investments has increased significantly during the pandemic

Housing sector value surges by more than $500 billion

The estimated aggregate value of Canadian households increased by $513.4 billion during the second quarter alone, according to Statistics Canada.

This surged pushed the housing sector’s net worth to $14.23 trillion. Since Q1 2020, households have added almost $3 trillion to their net worth, Statistics Canada said.

“Each of the last five quarters has recorded sizable gains in total assets,” Statistics Canada said. “Canadians have seen the value of their homes and investments rise considerably during the pandemic.”

The top 20% of households in terms of wealth accounted for 67.5% of all net worth nationwide, while those in the lowest 40% represented 2.5% of all net worth, Statistics Canada said.

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The value of financial assets also grew by 4.6% quarter over quarter to $380.1 billion. And while residential sales volumes have declined each month since the peak in March, Q2 represented the strongest quarter of residential activity on record, with total sales value increasing by 23.5% from the first quarter.

“Seasonally adjusted housing investment, which includes new purchases, remained very strong, rising 0.6% from the previous record quarter,” Statistics Canada said. “Investment has continued to increase for new houses (+8.6%) and home renovations (+7.1%), likely bolstered by the increased importance of housing as many Canadians continued to work from home and travel less and as low mortgage rates persisted.”

These gains were slightly offset by a $72.4-billion increase in liabilities, primarily mortgage debt, Statistics Canada said.