Higher the cost of real estate means many Canadians have become house poor. This is evident from the findings of a new survey. One of the more startling findings in today’s report from Manulife Bank Canada is that about 37 per cent of homeowners were “caught short” at least once in the last year, which means they couldn’t cover their expenses. The survey also shows that 60 per cent of us are worried we won’t have enough saved for retirement.
“Rising housing costs are making it difficult for homeowners to balance paying down their mortgage, saving for retirement and managing day-to-day expenses,” the report said.
While housing costs differ greatly across the country, the average mortgage balance outstanding has climbed to $181,000 from $175,000 last fall, Manulife said.
It’s highest in Vancouver, at $259,000, and stands at $194,000 in Toronto, and $217,000 in Calgary and Edmonton.
Canada’s economy is on the ropes again, believed to be contracting in this second quarter of the year, though observers predict a fast, sharp rebound. The severity of the current slump ranges – even observers who believe the economy is still growing don’t think it’s expanding by very much .
Toronto-Dominion Bank believes the economy will shrink by a mild 0.2 per cent, annualized, this quarter, while BMO Nesbitt Burns forecasts a deeper contraction of 1 per cent or more. Potential homeowners meanwhile are faced with a Catch-22 situation. Continue renting and probably never being able to afford a house or buy an over-priced house and end up compromising in other areas. – CINEWS