Appetite for debt stabilizing: RBC

While credit growth among Canadian households edged up in March, the appetite for residential mortgages has stabilized at the same time as the housing market is showing signs of moderation, reports The Financial Post.

That’s good news. At least consumers are still borrowing and spending — albeit with more discipline, even if they have added some extra weight to their bottom line. The same goes for companies, who have steadily raised their financing levels over recent months.

Overall household borrowing grew in March at a year-over-year rate of 4.1%, up from 4% in February, according to a study by RBC Economics, released Tuesday.

Residential mortgage growth was unchanged at 5% in March for the fourth consecutive month, RBC said. Outstanding balances of non-mortgage loans — such as credit cards, personal loans and lines of credit — rose 2% in March from a year earlier, following increases of 1.7% in January and 1.9% in February.

“Residential mortgage growth has stabilized in recent months and upside risks of renewed momentum are likely to be contained as housing activity is forecast to gradually moderate after a prolonged period of robust price and sales gains,” RBC said.

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