Number of Sask. people behind on mortgages at 26-year high

Number of Sask. people behind on mortgages at 26-year high

The number of people in Saskatchewan behind on their mortgages is the highest it has been since 1992, according to a new report from the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA).

In a report released this week, the CBA said 0.79 per cent of residential mortgages in Saskatchewan are in arrears — or overdue by three or more months — as of March 2018. This is the highest rate of overdue mortgages in the province since 1992.

Saskatchewan has the highest provincial rate in the country, with the Atlantic provinces in second-place at 0.53 per cent. The national average is 0.24 per cent.

'Slow economic times'

Gord Archibald, CEO of the Association of Regina Realtors, said the numbers are not shocking.

"I think it's an indication of slower economic times that we've been in for the last number of years," Archibald said.

He said the unemployment rate could be one of the causes, as people looking for jobs could have difficulty keeping up with mortgage payments.

Real estate sales are also affected, according to Archibald.

He said there are more homes on the market than usual this time of year. Home sales are down, prices are down and it takes longer than usual to sell a home.

"All four of those factors are indications of a slower real estate market and that's again a reflection of slower economic times," he said.

Archibald said there is no reason to panic because even wit the highest rate in Canada, "we are talking about a very small number."

"It's not like many many may mortgages are falling into arrears," he said. "It's really a tiny number even though its up from where it had been."