(Bloomberg) -- Canadian households’ net worth rose for a second consecutive quarter, rising 3.3% to reach a record high of C$16.9 trillion ($12.3 trillion), Statistics Canada reported on Thursday.

Net worth in the first quarter of 2024 was supported by rising stock markets — the S&P 500 was up 10.2%, while the TSX rose 5.8% — as well as a rebound in residential real estate.

The agency specified that most wealth is held by “relatively few” households, with more than 90% of net worth held by homeowners as of the fourth quarter of 2023.

Still, the national balance sheet report suggested growing incomes are bolstering Canadians’ financial resilience in the face of higher interest rates.

Household saving rose to 6.9% of disposable income in the first quarter, the highest in two years. The gain was driven by a 1.8% increase in disposable income, outpacing expenses.

Higher saving translated to a “surge” of inflows into investment funds, especially equity exchange-traded funds. Households bought C$23.8 billion in mutual fund and ETF shares in the first quarter, more than all of 2023.

With Canadians seeking higher exposure to stocks, inflows to money market funds were the smallest in two years.

Household residential real estate values rose 2.6% in the first quarter, bouncing back from two consecutive quarterly declines. Resale activity was 16% higher than a year ago, driving average resale home prices above C$700,000 in March for the first time since June 2023.

The household debt service ratio, or total payments of principal and interest on debt as a proportion of household income, fell to 14.91% in the first quarter from 14.98% previously.

Household credit market debt as a proportion of disposable income dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter to 176.4%. In other words, Canadians held C$1.76 of credit market debt for every dollar of disposable income.

Federal government borrowing, mostly in the form of bonds and treasury bills, more than doubled in the first quarter to C$48.2 billion. Statistics Canada says government requirements were higher due to a settlement related to Indigenous people and forgiveness of pandemic-era loans to small businesses.

Private businesses, excluding the financial sector, cut back on their demand for funds following the repayment of those pandemic-era emergency loans. Borrowing fell by C$9.4 billion from the previous quarter.

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