Greater Victoria residents saw their average monthly mortgage payments rise almost five per cent year-to-year, according to new figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
They show the average mortgage payment was $1,628 in the first quarter of 2019 — up 4.9 per cent compared to the same period. Greater Victoria residents also paid more for Home Equity Line of Credits (HELOCs) with average payments rising 12 per cent. Greater Victoria residents also saw their credit card payments rise three per cent.
The figures also show a rise in residents defaulting on their mortgages. In the first quarter of 2019, 0.13 per cent of outstanding mortgages in Victoria were delinquent, up slightly from 0.12 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
This figure places Victoria below the provincial average of 0.17 per cent. Broadly speaking, Victoria’s delinquency rate has remained relatively stable since the fall of 2017 after experiencing a steady decline since 2014.
But the small uptick in delinquency rates appears against existing economic fundamentals, which according to CMHC include “strong employment and population growth, as well as low interest rates and appreciation of home values in all market segments.”
Overall, the report finds that mortgage holders continue to have “excellent credit scores” as measures by the Equifax Risk Score, which gives the likelihood that the consumer will become seriously delinquent (90 plus days past due) within 24 months. A score of 750 is considered excellent, and according to CMHC, the average Victoria credit score was 780 in the first quarter of 2019, above the national level of 767 and the provincial level of 773.
Less than one in three consumers in Greater Victoria — 27 per cent — carried a mortgage in the first quarter of 2019, a figure below the respective national (29 per cent) and provincial (28 per cent) rates.
CHMC said the “relatively stable share” of consumers with mortgage loans could be attributed to the recently tightened mortgage rules that reduce the possibility for applicants with lower credit scores to obtain mortgages.