Exceptional strength in the housing market during the pandemic is underpinning Canada’s economic recovery. However, two key vulnerabilities—housing market imbalances and elevated household indebtedness—have intensified.
Olga Bilyk is a Senior Economist in the Financial Stability Department. She received her Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
Staff analytical notes
COVID-19 presents challenges for indebted households. We assess these by drawing parallels between pandemics and natural disasters. Taking into account the financial health of the household sector when the pandemic began, we run model simulations to illustrate how payment deferrals and the labour market recovery will affect mortgage defaults.
Using new regulatory data on residential secured lending from Canadian banks, we assess the growth rate of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
Recent policy changes are having a clear impact on the mortgage market. The number of new, highly indebted borrowers has fallen, and overall mortgage activity has slowed significantly.
In this note, we explore two types of risk faced by holders of mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) in the context of rising interest rates: interest rate risk and renewal risk.
Over the past 15 years, aggregate credit card balances have been increasing, except for a brief spell in the aftermath of the 2007–09 financial crisis. Determining whether the growing balances are due to increased usage of credit cards as a method of payment or whether they reflect increased short-term borrowing is challenging because aggregate balances are snapshots of charges on credit cards before households make their monthly payments.
Financial System Review articles
November 28, 2017 This report examines detailed data on home mortgages to provide a better understanding of the vulnerabilities associated with the mortgage market. The proportion of low-ratio mortgages is growing, particularly in regions with strong house price growth. Moreover, these borrowers exhibit less flexibility to adverse shocks, since they have high debt levels relative to income and have taken mortgages with long amortization periods.
- "Is Corporate Governance Effective in Ukraine?"
(with Alexander Muravyev, Oleksandr Talavera and Bogdana Grechaniuk), Eastern European Economics, vol. 48(2), 2010.