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Real Estate and Business

Household Debt in Canada A Buying Opportunity?

Debt at historical high. According to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ (FRED) economic research, Household Debt to GDP for Canada was

Toronto Housing Market
Toronto Housing Market

at about 70 in Q1 of 2006 and stood at over 100 in Q1 OF 2017. (https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/HDTGPDCAQ163N). On the other hand, also according to FRED, the U.S. Household Debt to GDP for United States piqued at about 99 in Q1 of 2008 and dropped to about 80.0 in Q1 of 2016. ( https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/HDTGPDUSQ163N?utm_source=series_page&utm_medium=related_content&utm_term=related_resources&utm_campaign=categories).

Meanwhile, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office released a report January of 2018 where it stated that an average Ontario household owed nearly $154,000 in 2016, up from $119,000 in 2010. Its analysis shows that paying down that debt cost an average Ontario family about $12,500 in 2016. As interest rates rise, those repayment costs will grow by nearly 25 per cent to $15,500 a year by 2021.

According to a BNN article, Progressive Conservative finance critic at the time stated” “The Liberals under (Premier) Kathleen Wynne have made life more unaffordable by driving up the cost of everything, including higher taxes and fees and skyrocketing hydro costs,”…”Families are borrowing more than ever to make ends meet.” (https://www.bnn.ca/ontario-household-debt-rising-increasing-economic-risk-accountability-office-1.976178)

Since the announcement of the upcoming provincial election and the release of survey data showing Wynne at a 81% disapproval rating, the government has been announcing billion dollar spending initiatives with almost daily promises of more money for various voter groups. It is difficult to understand how all these programs can be financed, let alone administratively implemented. Nonetheless, they indicate a worsening affordability situation in Ontario. This is furthered by increasing inflation as provincial legislative changes have made labour and housing more expensive in the province amidst the implementation of the carbon tax.

Seasoned investors may recognize this as an opportunity in the making to acquire real estate assets at a much lower prices than the pique in the spring of 2017. The higher interest rates get and the tougher it is to borrow money, the less individuals are willing and/or able to pay for real estate. As motivated sellers are forced to take whatever price buyers are willing to pay, it will drive price down. Those sitting on cash and liquid assets will be in a negotiating position.

Many individuals have already sold their homes and are now renting in expectation of a real estate market correction, which has to a large extend already taken place. Some are expecting further correction leading up to the next provincial and federal elections. As a result of their liquidity, these individuals are among the best positions to buy back into the market at favourable terms.

Regardless of the economic environment, a skilled and experience real estate professional will help you obtain the best price for your property and will help you find your next home. Call me at 416-564-0245 and get me working to get you the deal you want.

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