August 22, 2017 11:24 am

Average Canadian mortgage balance up nearly 5% year-over-year: TransUnion

The average mortgage balance in this year's second quarter was $198,781, up 4.8 per cent from that period last year, according to Transunion.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
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TORONTO – TransUnion Canada says the average amount owing on mortgages was up nearly five per cent in the second quarter, even though a change in Ontario regulations last spring appears to have reduced the volume of home sales.

The credit monitoring agency says the average mortgage balance in this year’s second quarter was $198,781, up 4.8 per cent from that period last year.

READ MORE: Canadian home prices in July down from a year ago, CREA says

TransUnion says the increased mortgage balance has been driven by rising home prices.

The average new-mortgage balance in the first quarter of 2017 — the most recent reported data — was up eight per cent from the same time last year at $280,093, despite a 10 per cent decline in mortgage originations, or new home loans.

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Since Ontario introduced more than a dozen measures to improve home affordability, sales reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board showed big year-over-year declines in May, June and July.

Given the size of the Toronto market, the slowdown has had an impact on Canadian averages for both sales and prices.

READ MORE: Toronto could become a ‘buyer’s market’ in coming months: RBC

TransUnion research director Matt Fabian says consumers have so far been able to manage their debt obligations despite the increasing balance levels.

Delinquency rates for mortgages dropped by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, continuing a trend that began in the fourth quarter of 2016, while the delinquency rates for non-mortgage consumer debt dropped slightly to 2.7 per cent.

© 2017 The Canadian

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