Canada’s Housing Bubble Is Stretched to the Limit
Talk about being a slave to your house. The average Canadian is forced to spend almost 100 percent of their income just on “ownership” costs! How do people feed themselves?
Of course that is why single-income families rarely buy houses in Canada anymore. To buy a house, both spouses need to work. One full salary goes toward paying for the house. The other salary goes toward feeding the family, paying for vehicles, paying other debt, and life.
But how dangerous is that? In the past, if the family breadwinner lost his job, the wife could temporarily get a job to keep the house from being repossessed. Today, if just one person loses their job, the family loses the house.
Since America’s housing bubble popped in 2007, Canada’s house prices have risen an astounding 22 percent. That has to be the definition of insanity—piling into the very investment that made your neighbor and most important economic partner virtually collapse.
But perhaps the biggest sign of a Canadian housing bubble is debt! Rising debt is the gas that fuels all bubbles. The average debt burden of Canadian families stands at a remarkable 153 percent of disposable income—and growing. It was only 150 percent three months ago. Canadians are now one of the most indebted people in the developed world, and just about as indebted as Americans before their bubble burst.
And in a report released last week, cibc argued that the people least likely to be able to afford new mortgages are the ones taking on new debt. One third of debtors hold about 75 percent of all personal debt. And who is this one third? According to cibc, it is boomers nearing retirement and those already burdened by high debt.What I really like about this article is how he just states the obvious, like it's so obvious. Yeah, Brother, Preach it!
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