Liquid-asset growth outpaces property value rise

Liquid-asset growth outpaces property value rise

Liquid-asset growth outpaces property value rise

Debt data also revealed some positive news, with the rise in “good” debt outpacing the rise in “bad” debt. Mortgage debt rose 4.1% while consumer debt – credit cards and lines of credit – was up a modest 1.4%. The mortgage debt increase reflected rising property pricesas new homeowners needed to take out larger loans. But with lower effective interest rates on mortgages, averaging 3.7%, consumers were able to purchase more with a smaller monthly payment.

At the same time, consumers racked up less credit card debt. One theory holds that Canadians, increasingly aware of the high interest rates on credit card balances, are turning to alternative forms of payment such as debit cards, Environics said.

The average Canadian household is still richer than the average US household (C$400,151 versus US$381,086), though the difference between the two countries is now about half what it was last year.

Compared to the US, Canadian households can claim twice as much in real estate (C$309,881 vs. US$152,401), more in assets (C$520,266 versus US$481,357) and bank deposits (C$82,349 vs. US$66,811).

However, Canadians should be careful not to feel too self-satisfied. In the last year, US household debt declined 2.4%, from US$102,715 to US$100,272, while Canadian household debt rose 3.3%, from C$116,309 to C$120,115. Americans may have learned a lesson from their formerly debt-averse neighbours to the north.

Average Canadian household wealth 2012 vs, 2011

Year End



Household Income



Net Worth



Liquid Assets



Savings and Chequing



GIC and Term Deposits









Investment Funds



Real Estate









Consumer Debt




Have your clients been more eager to invest in securities, or do they prefer assets that are "safe as houses'? Sound off in the comments.

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