Kelowna has money, debt
Okanagan Edge Staff - Dec 02, 2019 - Biz Releases

Photo: The Canadian Press

Kelowna has plenty of money, but it also has lots of debt to go along with it.

Those were the findings from Urban Spotlight, a report released recently that examined the household financial health in Canada’s 35 largest cities.

Prosper Canada and the Canadian Council on Social Development conducted the research and found that Kelowna has good financial health overall. Where it could be in trouble, however, is in its debt to income ratio.

Kelowna joined Saskatoon, Calgary, Guelph, Ont., Victoria, Barrie, Ont., Oshawa, Ont., Toronto and Abbotsford-Mission as cities that have a debt to income ratio of between 1.5 and 2.0. Vancouver is the worst Canadian city in this category, with a debt to income ratio of more than 2.0.

The study’s authors categorize Kelowna as one of five cities that are “living large,” which means they have high income, high wealth but also high debt relative to the national average. The other four cities that fit the “living large” description are Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Guelph, Ont.

“These communities carry sizeable mortgages and credit card balances, but most households have the financial resources to manage their debt loads,” according to the report.

The study’s main metric is Neighbourhood Financial Health Index, and Kelowna had the 12th best mark of the 35 cities that were measured. The relative health of Kelowna is due to the fact it is above average in household income, real estate assets, liquid assets and poverty level.

“Urban Spotlight shows that our financial health is heavily influenced by where we live,” Prosper Canada CEO Elizabeth Mulholland said in a press release. “Assets and debt, not just incomes, matter when it comes to our overall financial health.”

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