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As Cupid readies his arrows for Valentine’s Day, a new survey has uncovered that high interest rates are taking their toll on Canadians’ romantic life.

Nearly half of respondents said higher mortgage or rent payments have (35.2%) or may have (14%) negatively impacted their love life in the past 12 months, according to the survey commissioned by 360Lending.

And it’s not just romance that higher shelter costs are impacting. Asked how they’re able to afford their mortgage, a quarter of respondents (24%) said they aren’t travelling and 17% said they aren’t going out. Another 11% said they have cancelled their streaming services, such as Netflix.

“We’re seeing that higher mortgage rates are seriously costing Canadians love, relationships and generally joy,” said Ringo So, mortgage agent and managing partner of 360Lending.

However, the survey also found many are willing to spend less on romance if it meant being able to afford a down payment on a house or condo, with almost half of Canadians (45%) prioritizing homeownership over ‘being in love.’

Mortgage arrears rate held steady in November

Canada’s national arrears rate was unchanged in November, according to data from the Canadian Bankers Association.

The arrears rate, which tracks mortgages that are behind payments by three months or more, was 0.17%, unchanged from October. That works out to just 8,560 mortgages in arrears out of a total of over 5.05 million.

This is well below the highs seen during the pandemic, when the arrears rate reached a peak of 0.27% in June 2020, but also up from the all-time low of 0.14% reached in 2022.

The rate of delinquencies is highest in Saskatchewan (0.57%; +0.01) and Alberta (0.33%; +0.01), and lowest in British Columbia (0.13%; unchanged) and Ontario (0.11%; unchanged).

With interest rates still at record-high levels and an estimated $600 billion worth of mortgage rates coming up for renewal this year and next, expectations are for arrears to continue rising to more historical levels.

Improving consumer outlook suggests GDP rise in 2024: Nanos

Consumer confidence moved upward this week along with forward-looking expectations, according to a weekly survey by Bloomberg and Nanos.

The Expectations Sub-indice, which projects into the future, reached 51.46—its highest level since May 2022. Four weeks ago it was at 49.25.

“Based on the past track record of the index as a leading indicator, this suggests a likely GDP lift in the latter part of 2024,” noted Nik Nanos, Chief Data Scientist.

Looking at specific measures of consumer confidence, sentiment on the Canadian economy deteriorated compared to last week, while sentiment towards personal finances, job security and real estate all improved.

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