Vancouver has Canada’s highest average consumer debt: TransUnion

But the city has one of the lowest delinquency rates in the country

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This may come as no surprise to anyone who pays attention to all the stories about the high cost of living in the city: Vancouver has the highest average consumer debt in the country – and this doesn’t even include mortgages.

On average, Vancouverites were carrying $38,753 in consumer, non-mortgage debt in the first quarter of 2018, according to a TransUnion report released June 13. This is 33% higher than the national average of $29,181. In second place was Calgary ($38,115), followed by Edmonton ($32,357) and Saskatoon ($30,908). Toronto came in fifth place with an average debt load of $28,618.

Canada-wide, the average of $29,181 represents an increase of 4.5% compared with a year ago.

Despite Vancouver’s high average balance, the city has one of the lowest delinquency rates in the country at 4.67%. According to TransUnion, while debt levels increased nationwide, delinquency rates fell across the board.

“This suggests that Canadian consumers continue to be responsible in managing debt overall against the backdrop of a steady economy and strong consumer confidence,” the company said in its report.

“The data also indicates that we may be seeing the start of consumer debt levels cooling off after many years of trending up in Canada.”

ecrawford@biv.com