If you are thinking of an immigration project to Alberta (via a work permit or Canadian permanent residence) it is noteworthy that while there are plenty of employment opportunities, there is also a lot of personal household debt.
A report from Bank of Montreal puts average household debt in the western Canadian province at 124,800 Canadian dollars ($114,000) in 2014, a sharp increase from last year’s C$89,026.
That 40% rise far exceeds the 5.7% increase across Canada, which took the national average household debt level to C$76,100 in 2014, the report says. The report is based on survey of 1,002 Canadians conducted for BMO in late June and early July by research firm Pollara.
BMO says the dramatically higher household debt in Alberta may partially reflect the rapid escalation of housing prices in that province, whose economy continues to boom due to its vigorous energy sector. Albertans carry nearly twice the average household debt than households in Ontario, which the BMO report puts at C$67,507.
Ontario and seven other provinces all fell below the national average. Only British Columbia, exceeded the national average, with debt at C$99,900. The report indicated 43% of Canadians hold mortgage debt, up 13% from a year ago. The rising share of households with a mortgage is driven partly by the active participation of first-time buyers, mainly younger Canadians, BMO said.
More than half of all households are carrying a credit-card balance, although that total declined to 52% from 56% in 2013. BMO said student loans have remained stable, with 15% of households reporting that type of debt.
Source: Wall Street Journal