However, Lunny noted that 79% of those polled said they would be willing to cut back on discretionary spending, such as eating out, in order to get out of debt — an indication that there is more wiggle room in their budgets than they may realize.
“These people probably, better than they think, would have the ability to make their mortgage payments, but it would have an impact on their lifestyle,” Lunny said.
Manulife polled 2,372 Canadian homeowners in all provinces between Feb. 10 and 27. Respondents were all between the ages of 20 and 59 and had a minimum household income of $50,000.
The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.
The Manulife survey found that Canadian homeowners are carrying an average of $190,000 in mortgage debt, with Albertans carrying the heaviest debt load — an average of $242,300.
That’s followed by $217,300 in British Columbia, $196,900 in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and $193,000 in Ontario.
Atlantic Canada has the lowest average mortgage debt, at $127,300.