Canadians’ net worth is increasing.

In 2016 the median net worth of Canadian families was $295,100, up 14.7% from 2012 ($257,200), reveals StatsCan’s survey of financial security. (Canadian families include families of two or more persons, as well as unattached individuals.)

Read: Wealthy couple worries about worldwide estate value

Unsurprisingly, the survey finds that Canadians’ largest asset and largest debt is housing, accounting for more than a third of total assets.

Private pensions was the second-largest asset category at about 29% of assets, up from about 18% in 2012.

Other real estate, such as cottages and timeshares, represented 10% of total assets.

B.C. families reported the highest median net worth in 2016 ($429,400), and N.B. reported the lowest ($158,400.)

Mortgage and debt details

About 62% of Canadian families reported a principal residence as an asset, with about 57% of these families holding a mortgage on that residence. The average mortgage interest rate on principal residences was 2.94%.

Overall in 2016, about 38% of Canadian families held a mortgage. The median mortgage value was $190,000, an increase of 20% from 2012 and twice that of 1999.

About three-quarters of mortgages held by Canadian families were fixed rate, while about one-fifth were variable rate.

Read: Rate hikes don’t demand fixed-rate mortgages

And, amid concerns about rising consumer debt and mortgages, almost 30% of Canadian families were debt-free in 2016.

Read: Mortgage changes make it tougher for first-time buyers: industry group

“The share was highest among senior-led families, where 58% were debt-free,” says the survey. “However, this was down from 1999 when 72.6% of senior-led families were debt-free.”

That could be because more senior-led families are carrying mortgages into their retirement years.

In 2016 about 14% of families led by a person aged 65 and older held a mortgage, compared with about 8% in 1999.

For more details, read the full survey.

Also read:

BoC sees some improvement in debt, housing market

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