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

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Tsartlip canoe team pulls for international glory in Australia

Geronimo Canoe Club paddles to Victoria to kick-start fundraising

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read