Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Labour Market Sucks, Goodnews is Canadians Average Net Worth Up 8%

The labour market may be sluggish, but Canadians’ net worth is on the rise, according to a new report

The average net worth per Canadian household was $442,130 at the end of 2013, up 7.7 per cent from the previous year, according to Environics Analytics.

The growth is attributed to a rise in real estate and investment values. It helped that household debt increased by a modest 2.3 per cent, as consumer debt remained flat.

The numbers suggest that Canadians have bounced back from the 2008 global economic crisis, even though unemployment rates are higher-than-normal in many regions.

“Overall, 2013 was an excellent year for Canadian balance sheets,” Peter Miron, a senior research associate at Environics Analytics, said in a news release.

“Many people benefitted from the strong stock market. But they also saved more and didn’t take on more debt-- preparing perhaps for a rainy day. This was one of the best years we’ve had since the recession.”

And it’s not only the rich getting richer. Canadians whose net worth was less than $148,000 saw it rise by 8.7 per cent.

As for regional wealth, the three richest provinces in the country remain the same. 

In British Columbia, the average household net worth was $591,047. In Alberta it was $531,067, and Ontario was not too far behind with $523,969.

Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario had the highest net worth growth of all the provinces. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s economic boom may be cooling off, according to Environics Analytics. The household net worth in the province increased 7.4 per cent, below the national average.

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary remain the wealthiest cities in the country and the gap between them is narrowing, according to the wealth analysis.

The average household net worth is $710,095 in Vancouver, $693,652 in Toronto and $680,377 in Calgary. Vancouver remains on top because of its pricey real estate.

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