Home values boost Canadian family net worth

Canadian families increased their net worth by 14.7% in the four years from 2012-2016 according to new data from Statistics Canada.

Wealth increased mostly due to the rising value of homes, while debt was also driven by home prices as families took out larger mortgages.

The median net worth of Canadian families was $295,100 in 2016, up from $257,200 four years’ earlier. Last year, 61.7% of families owned their principal residence with 57.3% of them having a mortgage on their home. That means 38.4% of all families had a mortgage in 2016.

Total debt was $1.76 trillion, up 24.2% in the four-year period, while mortgage debt was up 30.4% to $330 billion. Almost 30% of families were debt free in 2016.

The median family debt increased 27.1% from $63,400 in 2012 to $80,600 in 2016. Mortgage debt increased to a median $190,000, 20% higher than in 2012.

Albertans were most likely to have a mortgage in 2016 (44%) while Nova Scotians were least likely (32.7%).

Home equity was up 12.8% from 2012 and up 115.2% from 1999 to a median reported value of $238,000 in 2016.

Families in British Columbia had the highest median net worth as of 2016 at $429,400. They were followed by those in Ontario ($365,700), Manitoba ($320,800) and Saskatchewan ($293,500). New Brunswick reported the lowest median net worth among the provinces at $158,400.

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