One of the ongoing public narratives about the Canadian economy is that Canadians are forever exposing themselves to the increased risk of personal debt. However, such a narrative doesn’t tell the whole story, in part because there are many forms of debt, as well as many different ways that Canadians approach such debt. A recent report reflects such complexity, as well as the need to look at personal debt more closely.

Specifically, as TransUnion reports, although Canadians are borrowing more in mortgages, with the average balance totalling almost $200,00, what’s also interesting is that Canadians are keeping up with the mortgage payments, too. Delinquency rates have dropped for the third straight quarter and are now at 0.56 percent.

Broad growth in mortgages

And it’s not just that Canadians are borrowing more with their mortgages. More Canadians are borrowing, too. According to TransUnion, the total number of active mortgage accounts grew to six million, which is a 1.2-percent increase from the previous year. So, not only is Canada’s mortgage sector showing growth, it’s also continuing to show consistent stability.

Namely, mortgage delinquency rates have been consistently low for the past two years and have shown very little volatility. This suggests that, despite an overall increase in personal debt, and the prospect of increased interest rates, Canadians seem intent on sustaining the borrowing they engage in when it comes to mortgages.

Versus other types of borrowing

The same can’t be said of other sectors, however. For example, installment loans are on the rise, as are the delinquency rates associated with this type of unsecured, high-interest-rate, short-term borrowing.

So, what does this say about the mortgage sector? Well, it says that, among other things, that its growth is not being sustained by out-of-control borrowing. Unlike other forms of personal debt, mortgage borrowers aren’t biting off more than they can chew, and that might be a good sign for the mortgage industry as a whole.