“Losing their homes”

From last week’s debate:

Canada is not the U.S., Mr. Harper said, adding that Canadians are not in danger of losing their homes or their jobs.

Mr. Dion shot back that Mr. Harper’s do-nothing attitude is endangering Canadian prosperity…

“The economy is not fine and if you talk to Canadians that’s what they’ll tell you. Either you don’t care or you’re incompetent. Which is it?” NDP leader Jack Layton charged, scoffing at Harper’s suggestion that Canadians are more worried about the plummeting stock market than losing their homes

‘You’re so out of touch with people when you say they’re not worried about losing their jobs and losing their homes,’ Ms. May said after Harper suggested Canadians are worried about the stock market drop, not about jobs…

From the Globe and Mail, via Worthwhile Canadian Initiative:

An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Canadian home owners are currently in arrears, said Will Dunning, chief economist at the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), in a report released Monday.

This means about 0.3 per cent of Canada’s 8.05 million home owners are behind on their mortgages by three months or more, he said.

By contrast, arrears in Canada hit about 0.7 per cent in 1992, as the effects of the housing bubble in the late 1980s and early 1990s worked their way through the mortgage market, Mr. Dunning said….

The closest comparison to Canadian arrears levels in the United States are 90-day mortgage delinquencies, Mr. Tal said. They are now in the 2 to 3 per cent range, meaning that about 1.5 million U.S. home owners are currently in delinquency.

In August, the last month for which data were available, one in every 416 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing, a 12 per cent increase from July and a 27 per cent increase from August, 2007.

National foreclosure statistics aren’t available in Canada, but lenders say the rate is low, and hasn’t shown an appreciable increase over last year.

At 70 per cent, the equity Canadians have in their homes has also been increasing over the past decade, while in the United States that level has slipped to below 50 per cent, Mr. Dunning said.

The U.S. housing collapse was a crisis brought on by overuse of subprime mortgages. Thus, Mr. Tal said, it’s important to remember that at its peak risky mortgages made up 5 per cent of the market in Canada, compared with 33 per cent in the U.S.

When will this Prime Minister do something show he cares about this avalanche entirely unremarkable rate of foreclosures?

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.