Reassessing the Growth of HELOCs in Canada Using New Regulatory Data

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Using new regulatory data on residential secured lending from Canadian banks, we assess the growth rate of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). The new dataset is the first of its kind to provide information on individual components of combined mortgage-HELOC plans. These combined plans are an increasingly popular credit product. We find that the credit growth has been concentrated in the amortizing mortgage component of the combined plans rather than the non-amortizing HELOC component. In addition, the total outstanding balance of HELOCs has contracted over the past year, which is consistent with rising interest rates and a slowdown in the growth of household consumption.