From the Canadian Bankers Association (prov. data only):
Current Mortgage arrears in BC is:
1. 3.5 TIMES the rate in 1994 when mortgage rates were double digits right before the last crash in prices.
2. TWICE Ontario's rate.
3. 50% higher than the national average.
http://www.cba.ca/contents/files/statis ... 050_en.pdf
And those that are not in arrears are spending so much of their incomes on mortgage payments, they have little or nothing left over for anything else. This has resulted in a literal perversion of Vancouver's economy: sky-high, insane house prices, but restaurants going under, retail stores doing badly or going under, high unemployment (due to declining economic activity) etc....
BC retail sales are now BELOW 2008 LEVELS:
http://www.central1.com/publications/ec ... urrent.pdf
"August was not a kind month for B.C.’s retail sector
as estimated provincial sales slumped to the lowest
level in a year. Total current-dollar retail sales volume
declined 0.9% from July to a seasonally-adjusted
$5.04 billion. Relative to same-period 2011, sales
volume was up an anemic 1%. Price growth in August
suggests retailers experienced an even sharper
decline in real activity or quantity of product sold
during the month.
The monthly sales decline was sharper than expected,
but consistent with the general erosion in activity
observed since the second quarter. The weak retail
environment continued to refl ect themes outlined
over the past couple of quarters – namely slow
population growth, tempered consumer confi dence,
high debt loads and weak housing markets. In addition,
changes to the duty-free allowance have made
cross-border shopping an even more compelling alternative
to local purchases, particularly for residents in
the southwest region of the province.
This has likely
siphoned off some activity from local retailers."
And, Use of Food Banks in BC Growing at TWICE National rate due to "high cost of living in Greater Vancouver":
http://www.theprovince.com/news/Grim+fo ... story.html
We have seen a 59-per-cent increase in the last four years,” he said.
One obvious problem he hears from clients is the cost of living in Greater Vancouver. “It is an expensive part of the world to live in,” he said.
And similar to the report, he sees families with employed parents who still struggle to put food on the table.
“I know in our food bank there are people employed who can’t make ends meet,” he said.