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