According to Scotia Bank’s latest housing outlook, “Canadian household balance sheets remain in reasonably good shape, with homeowners’ equity in real estate assets averaging 67% compared with 41% in the United States.”
What that means is that if you sold your home today and paid off your mortgage, the amount of money you would have left in your pocket would amount to 67% of the value of your home, whereas an American home seller would only be left with 41%. And while all that sounds reassuring, truth is that the Canada real estate market is overheated and the American one already went bust, so is it really a fair comparison?
What makes the numbers somewhat scary is that, just before the US real estate market went bust, their homeowners’ equity was sitting comfortably at 60%.
Add to all that the fact that Canadian house prices have been rising steadily for the last decade but Canadians’ home equity is lower today than it was in the year 2000, and the nervous fears that come with the bubble bursting remain alive and well in Canada real estate.
Canada real estate gets owned
One thing that is comforting, however, is that, according to the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, approximately 39.2% of Canadian households own their homes and carry no mortgage at all. In the US, it’s only 31.6% (source: 2007 American Community Survey). Unfortunately, however, that only serves to skew the numbers in our favor in Canada real estate.
So there are some professionals out there who fear that we are headed for the same housing crash that the U.S. experienced only a few years ago, but hopefully, Canadians have been heeding the warnings and are becoming more conservative with their savings and paying down their mortgages.
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