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Economic Viewpoint

Update*: Quebec households’ financial situation

May 9, 2016
François Dupuis, Vice-President and Chief Economist • Hélène Bégin, Senior Economist

It is a well-known fact that Quebecers’ debt loads have risen rapidly since 2000. The rise by average home prices and home-buying have, among other things, inflated mortgage credit over this time. This has also led to an increase in the value of assets, so that the balance sheets of borrowers as a whole have stayed relatively healthy in the province. Still, the context could deteriorate quickly if a major unforeseen event were to affect the value of their assets. Households are never completely safe from a brutal stock market shock or a major correction in home prices. Yet their financial standing is just as solid as it was 15 years ago. The risks are no greater now than they were then, as the proportion of vulnerable households has not gone up.