Boomers Are The Only Group To Increase Their Share of Canadian Mortgages

Over the past year, we’ve heard that younger households were behind the real estate binge. In addition to transfer data showing that’s not true, Equifax mortgage data for Q3 2021 agrees. Most demographics showed little change in their borrowing patterns, except for the extremes. Millennial-led households maintained their share of mortgages, but a larger share of debt. Senior-led households increased their share of mortgages, but held a smaller share of debt.

Millennials Captured A Greater Share of Debt, But Not Mortgages

The explosion of young homebuyers across Canada? More myth than reality. Households led by people between the ages of 25 and 34 held 15% of outstanding mortgages in Q3 2021. That’s the number of mortgage accounts, not the dollar balance. The share has been unchanged for the third quarter going back to at least 2018. The volume in homes purchased scaled with the market. 

These households are holding onto a larger share of mortgage debt than prior years. In Q3 2021, these households owed 17% of outstanding mortgage credit in dollar terms. It’s up 1 point from the year prior, but a similar level to pre-pandemic.

Canadian Average Q3 Mortgage Payments

The average monthly mortgage payment for existing homeowners, compared to the mortgage payment an average home buyer in the quarter needs to pay.

Source: Equifax; CMHC; Better Dwelling.

Between Millennials and Gen X Hasn’t Seen Much Change

Canadian homeowners between 35 and 44 years old, held a stable share of the market. In Q3 2021, they represented 26% of mortgage borrowers, which is the rate going back to 2018. They also owe a consistent 30% of outstanding mortgage dollars over the same period as well. Current trends have little impact on their buying behavior, it appears.

Gen X Homeowners Have Seen Their Market Share Shrink

Households between 45 to 54 years old, are a smaller share of the mortgage market than pre-2020. In Q3 2021, they were 25% of mortgages, unchanged from a year before. The share was 26% in Q3 2019, though. A slight decline for the largest group of mortgage holders in Canada. 

Their share of outstanding mortgage balances has declined with mortgages as well. In Q3 2021, these borrowers owed 26% of outstanding mortgage debt in dollar terms. It’s down from 27% a year before, a consistent share going back to at least 2018. The decline is in-line with their drop in market share.

Canadians Between 55 and 64 Saw Their Share of Mortgages Fall

Households between 55 and 64 saw a slight boost in the share of mortgages they held, but it’s fallen back down. In Q3 2021, they represented 20% of mortgages outstanding, down a point from a year before. It’s the same level seen in 2019 and 2018, though. Last year appears to have just been a temporary boost.

The temporary boost also had a similar impact on outstanding mortgage debt. In Q3 2021, they owed 17% of outstanding mortgage debt, down a point from a year before. It was similar to the decline in mortgages, which makes sense. The share is also the same as pre-pandemic.

Boomers Are The Only Group To Increase Their Share of Mortgages

Canadians aged 65 and up are the only demographic to capture a larger share of mortgages in recent years. In Q3 2021, they represent 12% of mortgages, unchanged from the previous year. It’s up 1 point from 2018, though, which is the only age group to see an increase in the share of outstanding mortgages.

There was an increase in the share of mortgages, but not the outstanding balance. In Q3 2021, this group owed 8% of outstanding mortgage credit, down a point from a year before. It’s the same share seen in the third quarter of 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Canada’s mortgage borrowers demographics showed little change for most groups. The middle of the age groups were mostly unchanged, scaling with the market. Younger families have maintained their share of the market, but at a cost of more and more debt. Older households have managed to capture a greater share of the mortgage market. 

The shift might seem a little odd, but marks change in how older Canadians have viewed real estate recently. In our interview with veteran mortgage broker Ron Butler a few weeks ago, he stated he’s observing more “accumulation.” That is, households aren’t just paying off their mortgages, but adding more mortgages to their holdings. Most people have trouble walking away from the table after winning a jackpot, and try their luck at double or nothing.



We encourage you to have a civil discussion. Note that reads "civil," which means don't act like jerks to each other. Still unclear? No name-calling, racism, or hate speech. Seriously, you're adults – act like it.

Any comments that violates these simple rules, will be removed promptly – along with your full comment history. Oh yeah, you'll also lose further commenting privileges. So if your comments disappear, it's not because the illuminati is screening you because they hate the truth, it's because you violated our simple rules.

  • RW 3 years ago

    Not surprising considering low rates are to buy votes of older households. Cheap asset growth for people impacted little by inflation and young people get stuck with the bill.

  • Scott MacKinnon 3 years ago

    Well, its been a lot of double. When’s the or nothing coming…?

    • Lorence 3 years ago


    • Kalicula 3 years ago

      When the last boomer is dead and in the ground, having successfully kicked the can all the way to the end of the road.

      It’s kind of beautiful in its own way, how they screwed the rest of us.

  • Kath 3 years ago

    Misleading heading since Boomers under age 65(as article points out) have not increased their share of mortgage debt, but everyone hates “Boomers” so lets blame them for the housing crisis.

    • William R 3 years ago

      Please stop throwing around the word misleading if you don’t understand what you’re reading.

      Strauss’ Boomers at least 62. So the definition still applies, leaving 2 years of Boomers out in a range that is average. So yes, Boomers saw their share increase.

      If you have a problem, you should confront the government for not using clean generation ranges in their data, nor releasing it to the public.

  • SH 3 years ago

    Most awful, selfish generation in human history. 500 years from now, historians will speak of the Boomer plague the way current historians speak of the Black Death in 14th cenutry Europe.

    • D 3 years ago

      I’m a millennial, most millennials are rotten to the core, and I imagine zoomers will be worse. Civilization at least in the west is collapsing from lowly educated millennials and zoomers whom think everything is owed to them whilst acting like simplistic apes oogling sh***y apps and social media sites such as Instagram, tiktok, twitter, Facebook, tumblr etc…I myself have never used any of those services as they are cancers of the mind. Most millennials are simple minded and have no clue about important things like finance, accounting, business history, project management and a whole list of important things to be aware in this age. This doesn’t mean I don’t hold boomers in a negative position. I’m surprised when some boomers remain poor after everything being virtually handed to them. You have poor boomers that wasted it all and wealthy boomers that sold the west out. It’s all so tiresome.

      • SH 3 years ago

        Well you’re entitled to your opinion, although the “lowly-educated” bit is contrary to the stats demonstrating that Mills are the most educated generation yet. If you’re referring rather to naivete, I doubt that’s much different from other generations.

        The one time I thought the Boomers could come in handy for a change was in preventing Justin Trudeau from becoming Prime Minister. Even on that “job”, they were useless. If I’m not mistaken, the over-60s (of which the majority are Boomers, up to age 75/76) were the only age group in which the Liberals GAINED shared in the last election.

  • SmugCanadian 3 years ago

    Nobody will want to speak of this generation; the offspring of the greatest generation!
    They/we will be in the dictionary description of the word, ‘greed’. Canadian baby boomers – greediest group of people in human history!!!

  • FlipG 3 years ago

    The Gov realized they could manipulate Monetary Policy to buy votes from home owners who in Canada make up the lions share of the population. They sacrificed renters, workers, savers and each successive new crop of young wannabe “landed” Canadians to Moloch, the God of Real Estate Acquisition.

    With each roll of the dice just like in Monopoly over time there will be fewer and fewer winners.

  • Bob 3 years ago

    Boomers taking on more new debt than ever before heading to the grave. If this is not the bubble top indicator then I don’t know what else is

Comments are closed.