Mortgage credit grew in the final quarter of 2020 as Canadian consumers put in the effort to decrease any types of debt, as per new data from TransUnion.

The credit organization’s Q4 Industry Insights Report showed mortgage credit grew 5.6% year-over-year, while the average balance of mortgage loans outstanding rose 5.7% to $292,863.

In the mean time, new originations of unsecured credit were generally down, drove by personal lines of credit (- 36.9%), credit cards (- 35.4%), personal loans (- 18%) and auto loans (- 2.9%).

“The Canadian credit market remained stable as individuals have been deleveraging and many have improved their risk scores,” the report noted. “Notwithstanding, new lockdown limitations to prevent future waves of COVID-19 and the slowing down of deferral programs are relied upon to make extra pressure in overseeing debt commitments.”

In general, total credit growth in the quarter rose 3.7% to $68.9 billion, driven “overwhelmingly” by mortgage growth, TransUnion announced.

Credit quality improving as delinquencies remain at historic lows

Individuals have been watching delinquency rates for indications of likely stress from customers as government relief and home loan deferral programs generally slowed somewhere around the end of 2020. In any case, TransUnion’s most recent information shows delinquency rates stay at record lows.

“Notwithstanding deferrals ending for most of buyers, delinquency rates remained lower contrasted with the earlier year across all products,” the report says.

Credit cards were the only type of credit to see a little ascent in delinquency, which were up 5 bps from Q3. Generally speaking, non-mortgage delinquencies in Canada were down over 28% year-over-year.

“We hope to see some expansion in delinquency rates through 2021, particularly among the most monetarily weak consumers, however the signs suggest that Canadians will actually be able to absorb the impact and that deferral and government support programs have been relatively effective at supporting consumers through the pandemic,” according to Matthew Fabian, Director, Research and Industry Insights. “Delinquency rates, however, are delicate to financial occasions like interest rates, unemployment and income, so the long-term effect will rely altogether upon how these progress through 2021.”

Mortgage delinquencies fall in 26 cities

New information from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Equifax showed a decrease in delinquency rates across a greater part of significant real estate markets.

Southern Ontario is right now home to the least delinquency rates, with Guelph showing the most minimal rate in the country at only 0.05%, down 28.6% year-over-year. Delinquency rates in the significant regions were also down generously in Q4: Toronto: 0.10% (down 9.1% year-over-year), Montreal: 0.20% (down 26%) and Vancouver: 0.13% (unaltered).

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