Between 2001 and 2006, the share of renter households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter declined from 56.3% to 50.9%. There was a corresponding increase in the share of homeowners with mortgages. The share for homeowners without mortgages stayed the same.
In 2006, 1.5 million renters, or 40.3% of all renters, spent 30% or more of their household income on shelter. This proportion was a marginal increase from 39.6% five years earlier.
In 2006, an estimated 1.5 million homeowners spent 30% or more of their household income on shelter. These households represented 17.8% of all homeowners, up from 16.0% five years earlier, a much faster pace of growth than among renters, but still a much smaller proportion.
The increase in the number of homeowners with mortgages spending 30% or more of their income on shelter accounted for almost 90% of the total rise in the number of households spending above this threshold during the past five years.
Note that the median household income of owners with mortgages was more than twice as high as that of renters in 2006. Also, their shelter payments include mortgage principal as well as mortgage interest. The principal portion of a mortgage payment helps to build equity in the home and, therefore, contributes to household wealth.
This report does not examine the potential vulnerability of owners with mortgages to possible future declines in housing prices. The census does not collect the required information about the size of the mortgage, or the amount of equity the household has built up in their home.
Percentage of owner and renter households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter, Canada, 1981 to 2006