Here's how much the average homeowner in Vancouver and Surrey has in debt

Sep 13 2021, 10:57 am

Escalating home prices in Metro Vancouver are also pushing up levels of debt, but exactly how much?

Based on a new report by fintech company Borrowell, Vancouver homeowners unsurprisingly lead major cities in the country, with a total average debt load of $629,803, with $595,100 coming from mortgage debt and $34,703 from non-mortgage debt.

Surrey comes in second in the country, averaging at a total of $609,104, including $574,324 from mortgage debt and $34,780 from non-mortgage debt.

This is followed by Toronto with an average mortgage balance of $574,246. Combined with a non-mortgage debt of $34,703, the total average debt for Torontonians reaches $608,296.

Homeowners in Burnaby come behind at fourth, with an average total debt load of $559,293, with $523,180 sourced to the mortgage obligations and $36,113 to non-mortgage debt.

Interestingly, despite having the largest mortgage balances, homeowners in Vancouver, Surrey, and Toronto are the least likely to have missed bill payments compared to homeowners in other cities.

Homeowners in cities with lower mortgage balances have higher chances of missing bill payments; homeowners in Regina ($261,325 average mortgage debt), Winnipeg ($263,857), and Saskatoon ($280,842) are over three times more likely to have missed bill payments than homeowners in Vancouver, Surrey, and Toronto.

The national average is $359,597 for mortgage debt and $34,290 for non-mortgage debt.

The study also found that the city with the biggest difference in missed bill payments rates between homeowners and non-homeowners is Surrey, followed closely by Toronto and Vancouver. Non-homeowners, including renters, in these three cities are over four times more likely to have missed bill payments compared to their home-owning counterparts.

The cities with the biggest non-homeowner debt balances are Calgary ($23,762), Edmonton ($22,258), Saskatoon ($21,916), Surrey ($20,787), and Victoria ($20,246). Conversely, the non-homeowner, non-mortgage average debt balances are lower for Vancouver ($18,088), Burnaby ($17,942), and Toronto ($17,537).

“Although missed bill payment rates are lower in Vancouver or Toronto than the national average, the large difference between missed bill payment rates for homeowners and non-homeowners in these cities shows the significant hurdles facing Canadians in the rental market,” said Andrew Graham, the co-founder and CEO of Borrowell, in a statement.

“High rental prices and a hot housing market are making it extremely difficult for those in Vancouver, Toronto, and other major cities to get their foot in the housing market and safely obtain some form of financial stability.”

Borrowell’s findings are based on over 874,000 credit reports of its members between the ages of 20 and 69 for August 2021 across 15 major cities in the country.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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