Oct 29, 2013

By Jane Brown

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If you take your mortgage out of the equation, how much debt to you have?  A new survey from one of the big banks says three-quarters of Canadians are in debt and they owe an average of nearly $16,000.  RBC’s annual debt poll shows the average personal debt load jumped almost $2800 this year compared with last year. The percentage of debt free Canadians has dropped from 26-percent last year to 24-percent this year.  The figures do not include mortgage debt.

Meantime, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he’s concerned about the creation of a possible housing bubble in Canada.  With interest rates now expected to be low into 2015 or beyond, Flaherty says he wants to speak with representatives in the housing industry about ways to prevent this from happening.  “I do speak to people regularly in the business,” Flaherty explained, “and I’m going to do more of it now because I want to ensure that this isn’t just a temporary bubble.”  There have been indications of a housing price surge in some markets, including select neighbourhoods here in Toronto.  Prices have fallen in other places across the country.


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