While Canadian homeowners have on average $359,597 in mortgage debt, they are still generally dealing better with the costs of living than non-owners, according to a new survey by credit comparison portal Borrowell.
Homeowners hold approximately 19.5 times more total debt ($393,887) than non-owners ($20,183), but non-owners are 2.2 times more likely to have skipped some scheduled payment, Borrowell said.
On average, the share of homeowners with missed bill payments was around 11%, while the proportion of non-owners with this problem was 21%.
“The rise in home prices recently also means that home owners are benefiting from asset appreciation and can leverage the value of their home to help with short-term cash flow challenges, an option that non-owners don’t have,” Borrowell said.
This trend might have a cumulative effect upon non-owners’ prospects, Borrowell said.
“Buying homes in the future could pose a challenge for non-owners who are currently struggling to pay their bills on time,” Borrowell said. “In addition to the challenge of saving for a down payment, a good credit score is essential for Canadians to qualify for a mortgage, and payment history is the largest factor that impacts credit scores.”
The phenomenon was particularly prominent in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, despite missed bill payment rates being lower in these markets.
“The large difference between missed bill payment rates for home owners and non-owners in these cities shows the significant hurdles facing Canadians in the rental market,” Borrowell said. “High rental prices and a hot housing market are making it extremely difficult for those in Vancouver, Toronto, and other major cities to get their foot in the housing market and safely obtain some form of financial stability.”
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