Nearly one in six Canadians couldn't handle a $500 mortgage increase
According to the bank, 16% of respondents said they would not be able to afford such an increase, while more than a quarter, or roughly 27%, would need to review their budget.
The ultimate goal of most Canadians should be the elimination of debt, but the first step needs to be getting rid of bad debt, said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of wealth planning strategy at BMO, which has the potential to destabilize a households financial situation.
Another 26% said they would be concerned, but could probably handle it.
Such an increase would be generated in the case of a three percentage point hike in interest rates - from 2.75% to 5.75% - on a $300,000 mortgage with a 25-year amoritization period.
Given that interest rates are likely to increase in the foreseeable future, the bank said there was no better time to put together a detailed debt management plan.
A report by Statistics Canada last month found the ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income climbed in the second quarter of 2015 to 164.6%, up from 163% in the first three months of the year.
That means Canadians owed nearly $1.65 in consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans for every dollar of disposable income.
The report by BMOs Wealth Institute found that almost half of Canadians, 47%, believed that the high level of debt in Canada has been influenced by soaring real estate values, while 40% believed it has been influenced by low rates.
Files from The Canadian Press
The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index ticked down 0.1% in February
In February the TeranetNational Bank National Composite House Price Index(tm) retreated 0.1% from the previous month, following December and January rises that had interrupted a downtrend. It was the first February decline since 2013. The index was up in only three of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed, the fewest since October 2014: Vancouver (+0.4%), Hamilton (+0.2%) and Halifax (+0.8%). The index for Victoria was flat on the month and the other seven component indexes were down: Toronto 0.1%, Montreal 0.3%, Ottawa-Gatineau 0.7%, Edmonton 0.8%, Calgary 0.8%, Winnipeg 1.0%, Quebec City 1.5%.
For Vancouver it was the 12th rise in 14 months, taking its index to a new record. However, this markets raw (unsmoothed) index* was down 1.3% on the month, a retreat coinciding with a cooling of home sales as reported by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The raw index for Toronto declined after three consecutive rises. In previous months observers had noted a certain haste on the part of buyers to beat the entry into effect of tougher conditions for obtaining an uninsured mortgage. The advance of the Hamilton index interrupted a run of five declines. The retreat of the Montreal index was the first in 14 months. This is not a concern, since the Greater Montral Real Estate Board reported the strongest sales in six years for the first two months of a year.
Canadian Income Survey, 2016
Canadian families and unattached individuals had a median after-tax income of $57,000 in 2016. Median after-tax income increased from 2011 to 2014, but held steady in 2015 and 2016. The slower growth in 2015 and 2016 was associated with the resource price slowdown, which began in the second half of 2014.
After-tax income is comprised of income from market sources and government transfers. Market income includes employment income, retirement income and income from investments, while government transfers include benefits to seniors, child benefits,
Employment Insurance benefits, social assistance and other benefits. While growth in overall median after-tax income slowed in 2015 and 2016, there was also a significant increase in government transfer income. Median income from government transfers rose from $5,800 in 2014 to $7,400 in 2016. About half of this rise was due to increased child benefits, which became a larger source of income for families with children.
In 2014, the median child benefit received by couple families with children were $2,500. This rose to $3,400 in 2015, and to $4,000 in 2016. For a lone-parent family, the median benefits rose from $5,100 in 2014 to $5,800 in 2015, and then to $6,400 in 2016.