Canadians richer than Americans for the first time ever: report
Canada’s real estate market isn’t sizzling – despite strong recent numbers, home sales and prices dropped in June – but for it all its sluggishness, America’s got it much worse.
For the average Canadian and American consumer, rough real estate means a tough go in selling your home, yes, but it also means a severe recalculation of your net worth.
At the end of it, here’s the news: for the first time in history, Canadians appear to be richer than their American neighbours.
According to data from research firm Environics Analytics, the average Canadian household is more than $40,000 richer than the average American household.
By Environics Analytics' WealthScapes data report, the average household net worth – total combined value of liquid and real estate assets, minus debt – in Canada was $363,202 in 2011, compared to just $319,970 in the U.S.
“And these are not 60 cent dollars,” said Michael Adams, president of the Environics Institute, enhancing the oomph of the data, “but Canadian dollars more or less at par with the U.S. greenback.”
In spite of their excitement, Canadians ought to restrain themselves just a bit with these numbers.
Our surpassing of the Americans in net worth isn’t due to some atmospheric rise in Canadian wages or stock portfolios (in fact, Americans’ non-real estate assets are still greater than ours). Instead, the shift is almost entirely due to housing values; Canadians own more real estate than Americans do, and now it’s simply worth more.
But Adams does see one lasting outcome from the net worth data.
Adams suspects the attraction the U.S. has long held on prominent Canadians, the Alexander Graham Bells and Jim Carreys and any other Canuck that’s fled for greater riches south of the border, could be narrowing.
“After the 2008 crisis, when U.S. financial institutions went from dynamic to dangerous, the drab safety of Canadian fiscal conservatism began to cut a more pleasing figure,” Adams wrote in the Globe and Mail.
“For the moment, it seems that the risk-averse Canadian tortoise has the lead in the race against the risk-taking American hare, who has singed his feet on his rocket pack.”
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money