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Canadians’ mortgage debt increased at a slower pace in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 compared with the year prior, according to the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corp.’s quarterly mortgage and consumer trends report.

The Crown corporation attributes the slowdown to rising interest rates and decreasing home sales.

The CMHC report also revealed that the growth rate of home equity lines of credit debt more than doubled when compared with Q4 2016, trailing credit card and auto loan debt.

Meanwhile, the demand for new mortgage loans was sluggish, with the number of loans opened in Q4 2017 falling by 7.7% from the year before to reach 234,000.

CMHC reports the number of consumers with a mortgage loan in Q4 2017 reached its highest point in the past three years.