HELOCs debt at $290 billion
October 12, 2018
Canadians have racked up $290 billion in home equity lines of credit (HELOC) balances, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), with B.C. homeowners owing the most per household but Atlantic Canada homeowners taking out the highest percentage of loans.
According to the CMHC report Homeowners’ Debt at a Glance, which uses Equifax data, there were more than 3.1 million HELOCs in the first quarter of 2018—about 1.1 million of which were untapped, for a usage rate of 66.3 per cent. At 73.9 per cent, usage was highest in Atlantic Canada and, at 63.2 per cent, lowest in B.C.
Despite B.C.’s low use, the province averages $124,000 in HELOC debt—the highest in Canada.
Atlantic Canada’s inexpensive homeownership market has the country’s lowest average credit balance. The region comprises 7.7 per cent of Canadian HELOC holders with their debt amounting to 3.9 per cent of national HELOC levels.
Homeowners’ Debt at a Glance also showed that, nationally, mortgages make up 66 per cent of all outstanding household debt and HELOCs account for 11 per cent—real estate is backing more than 75 per cent of household debt.