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OSFI : Canadians Over $251 Billion In Homes Are Being Used To Secure Personal Debt

April 22nd, 2018 | by Richard Paul
OSFI : Canadians Over $251 Billion In Homes Are Being Used To Secure Personal Debt
Business and Finance
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Congrats! Canadians Just Set a New Record for Borrowing Against their Homes

Use of home equity to fund personal consumption spikes.

By Daniel Wong, Better Dwelling:

Canadian real estate related debt tapering? That would be ridiculous! Filings obtained from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) show, after a brief decline in January, the balance of loans secured by residential real estate hit a new high in February. More interesting is the segment of loans being used for personal consumption, is growing at the fastest pace in years.

Securing A Loan With Home Equity

Loans secured by residential real estate are exactly what they sound like. They’re loans that you pledge your home equity in order to secure. The most common example would be a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). You know, the same type of loan the Canadian government is discretely paying to teach you how to borrow. There’s also more productive uses, like when you start a new business and need to use your home as security – just in case you aren’t able to pay your loan shark bank back.

Either way, debt is debt. The big difference to note is a loan secured for personal reasons, is considered non-productive. The borrower isn’t expected to take a calculated risk, in order to earn more money. A business loan is considered productive, since it might generate more money. This isn’t just our opinion, banks actually classify these loans separately in their filings. Today we’ll go through the aggregate of these numbers, then break them down segment by segment.

People Used Over $283 Billion In Home Equity To Secure Loans

Loans secured by real estate hit a new all-time high in February. The total balance of loans secured with real estate racked up to C$283.65 billion, up 0.77% from the month before. This represents a 7.79% increase compared to the same month last year. It almost looked like Canadians were reeling that debt in January, with a tiny decline. Instead it made a monster move, more than making up the ground lost the month before. Now, let’s break this down.

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Over $251 Billion In Homes Are Being Used To Secure Personal Debt

The total of loans secured with residential real estate for non-business purposes spiked in February. The outstanding balance reached C$251.64 billion, a 0.77% increase from the month before. This represented a 6.83% climb compared to the same month last year. This brings the total to an all-time high.

The rate of growth is definitely something people should be taking note of. The monthly rate of 0.77% is the fastest rate pace since June 2017. The annual rate of 6.83% is the fastest rate of growth since… well, since banks started reporting these numbers on their balance sheets. Apparently higher rates aren’t slowing borrowers down.

Over $32 Billion In Homes Are Being Used To Secure Business Debt

Business loans secured with residential real estate also saw a rise in February. Just over $32 billion in business loans were secured with homes, up 0.86% from the month before. This represents a 15.96% increase from last year. These more “productive” loans, are not at an all-time high. Totes disappointing, we know.

The takeaway here is the decline in growth. This is the fourth month we’ve seen the annual trend taper, bringing it to the lowest levels since December 2016. A decline in debt growth is typically seen as good, but we get mixed feelings when business borrowing slows.

If you’re going to have debt, it might as well be for productive reasons. Unfortunately, residential real estate being used for personal consumption is reaching the fastest pace of growth in years. Meanwhile the segment being used for business purposes, is seeing growth decline rapidly.

That next rate hike is going to be rough. By Daniel Wong, Better Dwelling

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Canada’s magnificent house price bubble wheezes. Read…  Canada Home Prices Fall 6% in Q1 from Year Ago, First Decline since 2009

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