by Ephraim Vecina Sep 2018 MBN

Reports of Canadians’ debt difficulties abound, but if the latest data from TransUnion is any indication, the eldest don’t seem to be slowing down in their borrowing any time soon.

TransUnion findings revealed that in the first quarter of 2018, the volume of mortgages issued to Canadians in the 73-93 age bracket dramatically increased by 63% on a year-over-year basis.

To compare, activity in the baby boomer demographic (54-72 years old) went up by a relatively meek 18%. Millennials and first-time home buyers had it significantly worse, with originations down by 19% in the 24-38 segment and 22% in the 18-23 age bracket.

TransUnion Canada director of financial services research and consulting Matt Fabian noted that these numbers might indicate the more pronounced impact of harsher mortgage rules among younger buyers.

Read more: Canada’s seniors prefer to stay put in their homes – poll

“The stress-testing rules are about affordability,” Fabian told Global News, adding that the oldest Canadian home owners have benefited from substantial equity gains in recent years, and thus don’t have to worry much about numbers such as loan-to-value ratios.

However, despite the vibrant borrowing among the elderly, this demographic still accounts for a miniscule portion of total Canadian mortgage activity. Overall new mortgage volume in Q1 2018 still declined by 3.4% year-over-year, following a more serious 8% annual shrinkage in the period between October and December 2017.

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