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What Explains Trends in Household Debt in Canada?

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Similar to the experiences in many other countries, household indebtedness in Canada has exhibited an upward trend over the past 30 years. Both mortgage and non-mortgage (consumer) credit have contributed to this development. In this article, the authors use microdata to highlight the main factors underlying the strong trend increase since the late 1990s. Favourable housing affordability, owing to factors such as income growth and low interest rates, has supported significant increases in home-ownership rates and mortgage debt. Much of the rise in consumer credit has been facilitated by higher housing values (used as collateral for loans) and financial innovation that makes it easier for households to access this credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Allan Crawford & Umar Faruqui, 2011. "What Explains Trends in Household Debt in Canada?," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2011(Winter), pages 3-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bcarev:v:2012:y:2012:i:winter11-12:p:3-15
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    File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/boc-review-winter11-12-crawford.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Fortin, 2015. "Why has the mortgage debt increased by so much in Canada?," Cahiers de recherche 15-03, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    2. Ivo Krznar & James Morsink, 2014. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility; Macroprudential Tools at Work in Canada," IMF Working Papers 14/83, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Kartashova, Katya & Tomlin, Ben, 2017. "House prices, consumption and the role of non-Mortgage debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 121-134.
    4. Jesus Sierra, 2012. "Consumer Interest Rates and Retail Mutual Fund Flows," Staff Working Papers 12-39, Bank of Canada.

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