Homeownership is a major goal for Canadians, offering both financial and non-financial benefits that contribute to their overall financial security. Canadians are committed to meeting their mortgage repayment obligations, showcasing the value they place on this important achievement. Banks in Canada are committed to offering a range of mortgage options and professional advice, empowering Canadians to make informed decisions as they navigate the home buying process with confidence and prudence.
Banks take their role as residential mortgage lenders very seriously, adhering to responsible lending practices, maintaining high standards for underwriting and risk management, and ensuring customers can service their debt. This is evident when looking at national mortgage delinquency rates in Canada, which show that more than 99 per cent of mortgage holders in Canada are in good standing. This number is significantly higher than in the United States and other advanced economies. Despite the current economic environment characterized by higher interest rates, mortgages in arrears in Canada are at the lowest level in decades.
Chart: Number of residential mortgages in arrears as of September 2023
Being “in arrears” is defined as mortgages that have payments that are overdue for three or more months. Our data look at the number of accounts that are in arrears against the total number of mortgages reported from eleven CBA member banks. Mortgage arrears are considered a lagging economic indicator because they typically relate to events that have happened in the past and take time for their financial impact to be felt. Payment arrears are driven primarily by employment conditions and major changes in life circumstance that can cause an unexpected loss to a significant portion of household income.
Banks are committed to providing appropriate mortgage products and solutions for customers throughout their experience as homeowners, including when there may be a time of financial hardship. Banks actively work with mortgage customers who are experiencing difficulties in the current economic environment characterized by higher interest rates. Several tools are available to assist customers who are experiencing hardship and we encourage customers to speak to their bank about their financial concerns.