27 Jun, 2024
Mortgages Arrears
In The News,Lifestyle,Market Insights,Mortgages Comments Off on Canada’s Mortgage Arrears: What is Happening and What to Expect

Canada's Mortgage Arrears:

What's Happening and What to Expect

Canada’s mortgage market has been experiencing a mix of challenges and resilience in recent years. Despite the ongoing economic pressures, the country’s mortgage arrears rates have remained relatively low compared to other advanced economies. However, there are signs that the financial well-being of Canadian households is under greater stress, which could impact mortgage arrears in the future.

Historical Context

Historically, Canada’s mortgage arrears rates have been low, with the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) reporting a rate of 0.19% as of February 2024. This is significantly lower than rates seen in the United States and the United Kingdom. The low arrears rate is attributed to responsible lending practices, high standards for underwriting and risk management, and the fact that more than 99% of mortgage holders in Canada are in good standing.

Current Trends

Recent data from the CBA shows that the number of residential mortgages in arrears has increased, but the rate remains low at 0.24% as of the fourth quarter of 2019. This translates to a total of 11,438 mortgages in arrears out of a total of 4.8 million outstanding mortgages. The rate varies across provinces, with Saskatchewan having the highest arrears rate at 0.88% and Ontario and British Columbia having the lowest at 0.09% and 0.15%, respectively.

Factors Contributing to Mortgage Arrears

Several factors contribute to mortgage arrears in Canada. Employment conditions and major changes in life circumstances, such as job loss or illness, can cause unexpected losses in household income, leading to difficulties in making mortgage payments. Additionally, the current economic environment characterized by higher interest rates, elevated housing costs, and rising costs of living has put additional pressure on household budgets.

Support Available to Homeowners

Banks and financial institutions in Canada provide various resources and supportive measures to assist homeowners who are experiencing financial difficulties. These measures include payment deferrals, refinancing options, and counseling services. Homeowners are encouraged to speak with their banks to discuss their situations and explore available options.

Strategies for Homeowners

Homeowners facing financial difficulties should prioritize their mortgage payments and explore available support options. They can consider refinancing their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates or deferring payments temporarily. It is also essential to maintain open communication with lenders and seek professional advice if needed.

Future Outlook

The future outlook for mortgage arrears in Canada is uncertain. While the current rate remains low, there are signs that financial pressure is mounting. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has projected that mortgage arrears could surge to record highs if the Canadian economy does not recover sufficiently. The CMHC’s projection is based on indicators such as savings rates, mortgage consumer confidence, and delinquencies on other debt products, which suggest that Canadian mortgage holders may not be as financially sound as previously thought.



Canada’s mortgage arrears rates have remained relatively low compared to other advanced economies. However, there are signs that financial pressure is mounting, and homeowners should be prepared to adapt to changing economic conditions. By understanding the factors contributing to mortgage arrears and exploring available support options, homeowners can better manage their financial situations and maintain their housing stability.

Canada’s mortgage arrears rate remains impressively low due to prudent lending practices, effective regulations, and economic stability. However, with rising interest rates and economic pressures, a slight uptick in arrears is possible. Staying informed and proactive is essential for homeowners. Consulting experts like Cashin Mortgages can provide valuable guidance and solutions tailored to individual financial situations. As the market evolves, maintaining financial health and preparedness will be key to navigating any potential challenges in the Canadian mortgage landscape.