CMHC’s latest edition of the national Mortgage and Consumer Credit Trends report takes a detailed look at the fourth quarter of 2017.
In this quarter, total mortgage debt increased at a slower pace compared to the same quarter in 2016. The slowdown was partly due to a reduction in home sales. Growth in home equity line of credit (HELOC) debt, meanwhile, more than doubled compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Still, the growth rate of HELOC debt continued to trail the growth rates of credit card and auto loan debt.
- The share of mortgage holders with a high likelihood of bankruptcy fell to 5.3%, a 58-basis-point decrease compared to a year earlier.
- Nearly 60% of mortgage holders were aged 45 or over. This same age group also had more than half of the total outstanding mortgage balance (see figure 1).
- Mortgage delinquency rates decreased for all age groups to their lowest levels since 2014. The largest drop recorded was for mortgage holders over the age of 65.
Interesting findings weren’t limited to mortgage data, however:
- Demand for auto loans remained strong. The share of consumers with a new auto loan reached its highest point since 2006.
- Average monthly obligations increased for all major credit products compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.
Additionally, the average credit card balance per consumer reached its highest point in 5 years. Growth in credit card limits, however, reached its lowest rate in 6 years. This suggests that credit card users weren’t seeking additional credit as actively as in the past.