Nearly half of Canadians don’t see their mortgage as being debt, according to a survey from Manulife.

The survey of more than 2,300 Canadians found 45 per cent would consider themselves debt-free if the only outstanding debt they had was a mortgage.

But this seems to be a generational difference -- the younger you are, the likelier it is you don’t see a mortgage as debt.

Fully 68 per cent of respondents in their twenties didn’t consider mortgages to be debt, while only 29 per cent of those in their fifties agreed.

Jason Daly, Manulife’s VP for marketing and business development, suggests this may be in part because young people are more likely to carry high-interest credit card debt, and are focused on paying that down.

But it also “could be a result of our current low interest rate environment, which makes debt management seem less intimidating than it was in the ‘80s and 90’s, when rates were much higher,” Daly said in a statement.

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  • Montreal: $85,600

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $65,400 For a condo: $51,300 Source: RBC

  • Edmonton: $85,700

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $75,800 For a condo: Source: RBC

  • Nationwide: $92,200

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $81,200 For a condo: $52,400 Source: RBC

  • Ottawa: $93,500

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $89,300 For a condo: $60,600 Source: RBC

  • Calgary: $98,300

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $96,700 For a condo: $57,200 Source: RBC

  • Toronto: $139,400

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $119,800 For a condo: $73,000 Source: RBC

  • Vancouver: $162,900

    Minimum qualifying income for a standard two-storey home. For a detached bungalow: $155,100 For a standard condo: $75,100 Source: RBC

  • NEXT: CANADA'S TINIEST HALF-MILLION-DOLLAR HOMES

  • Toronto: $520,000

    With the number of bedrooms in this house listed as "zero," it's pretty clear this former dental clinic in Toronto's East York is a pretty small house. The realtor boasts of "easy access" to highways (it's near the Don Valley Parkway) and transit.

  • Toronto: $520,000

    With the number of bedrooms in this house listed as "zero," it's pretty clear this former dental clinic in Toronto's East York is a pretty small house. The realtor boasts of "easy access" to highways (it's near the Don Valley Parkway) and transit.

  • Toronto: $520,000

    With the number of bedrooms in this house listed as "zero," it's pretty clear this former dental clinic in Toronto's East York is a pretty small house. The realtor boasts of "easy access" to highways (it's near the Don Valley Parkway) and transit.

  • New Westminster, B.C.: $579,000

    The house may only have 726 square feet, but the spacious 60-foot-by-140-foot lot means you can potentially build two new homes on the spot, and that's pretty much this property's main selling point.

  • Surrey, B.C.: $539,000

    The realtor selling this one doesn't even pretend the house is good value for money -- this house is "lot value only," is an opportunity for developers or investors to build something new on the land.

  • Surrey, B.C.: $539,000

    The realtor selling this one doesn't even pretend the house is good value for money -- this house is "lot value only," is an opportunity for developers or investors to build something new on the land.

  • Toronto: $519,000

    It may be super narrow, but this house in north Toronto actually has two stories and three bedrooms. It has a walk score of 90, so if avoiding traffic jams is your thing this could actually be something of a decent bargain...

  • Toronto: $519,000

    It may be super narrow, but this house in north Toronto actually has two stories and three bedrooms. It has a walk score of 90, so if avoiding traffic jams is your thing this could actually be something of a decent bargain...

  • Toronto: $519,000

    It may be super narrow, but this house in north Toronto actually has two stories and three bedrooms. It has a walk score of 90, so if avoiding traffic jams is your thing this could actually be something of a decent bargain...

  • Toronto: $430,000

    This house is a little less expensive than the others on this list, but it's here to illustrate just how little $430,000 will get you in Toronto these days. Two bedrooms in this house, but the realtor says you can still rent out the basement.

  • Toronto: $430,000

    This house is a little less expensive than the others on this list, but it's here to illustrate just how little $430,000 will get you in Toronto these days. Two bedrooms in this house, but the realtor says you can still rent out the basement.

  • Toronto: $430,000

    This house is a little less expensive than the others on this list, but it's here to illustrate just how little $430,000 will get you in Toronto these days. Two bedrooms in this house, but the realtor says you can still rent out the basement.

  • New Westminster, B.C.: $448,000

    Someone managed to squeeze four bedrooms into this little home in the Vancouver suburb of New West, but the realtor still sees building a new home on the spot as a good option.

  • New Westminster, B.C.: $448,000

    Someone managed to squeeze four bedrooms into this little home in the Vancouver suburb of New West, but the realtor still sees building a new home on the spot as a good option.

  • New Westminster, B.C.: $448,000

    Someone managed to squeeze four bedrooms into this little home in the Vancouver suburb of New West, but the realtor still sees building a new home on the spot as a good option.

  • Toronto: $549,000

    Two bedrooms in this little house but the real value is the land -- it has a 110-foot long lot, which on Toronto's inner east side is a sizable chunk of land.

  • Toronto: $549,000

    Two bedrooms in this little house but the real value is the land -- it has a 110-foot long lot, which on Toronto's inner east side is a sizable chunk of land.

  • Toronto: $549,000

    Two bedrooms in this little house but the real value is the land -- it has a 110-foot long lot, which on Toronto's inner east side is a sizable chunk of land.

  • Victoria, B.C.: $469,900

    Just because a house is tiny and overpriced doesn't it can't be colourful and meticulously decorated. Check out this little three-bedroom place in Victoria's inner city. The realtor boasts that the yard has a "really big organic garden -- no GMO seeds or chemicals used in 100 years." Yes, this must be British Columbia.

  • Victoria, B.C.: $469,900

    Just because a house is tiny and overpriced doesn't it can't be colourful and meticulously decorated. Check out this little three-bedroom place in Victoria's inner city. The realtor boasts that the yard has a "really big organic garden -- no GMO seeds or chemicals used in 100 years." Yes, this must be British Columbia.

  • Victoria, B.C.: $469,900

    Just because a house is tiny and overpriced doesn't it can't be colourful and meticulously decorated. Check out this little three-bedroom place in Victoria's inner city. The realtor boasts that the yard has a "really big organic garden -- no GMO seeds or chemicals used in 100 years." Yes, this must be British Columbia.

  • Toronto: $499,000

    Would you believe this house has two apartments in it? There's a three-bedroom unit upstairs and a two-bedroom unit in the basement. With a monthly rental income of around $2,500, you won't cover the mortgage on it, but an investor could make some money.

  • Toronto: $499,000

    Would you believe this house has two apartments in it? There's a three-bedroom unit upstairs and a two-bedroom unit in the basement. With a monthly rental income of around $2,500, you won't cover the mortgage on it, but an investor could make some money.

  • Toronto: $499,000

    Would you believe this house has two apartments in it? There's a three-bedroom unit upstairs and a two-bedroom unit in the basement. With a monthly rental income of around $2,500, you won't cover the mortgage on it, but an investor could make some money.

  • Surrey, B.C.: $539,000

    The realtor on this property doesn't even pretend the house is godo value for money. This is "lot value only," and presents an opportunity for investors and developers. Two bedrooms and two baths in the current house on the site.

  • Toronto: $549,995

    Two bedrooms and two bathrooms in this house on the city's east side. There's also a finished basement.

  • Toronto: $549,995

    Two bedrooms and two bathrooms in this house on the city's east side. There's also a finished basement.

  • Toronto: $549,995

    Two bedrooms and two bathrooms in this house on the city's east side. There's also a finished basement.

  • NEXT: MOST EXPENSIVE HOUSES FOR SALE IN CANADA, FEB. 2014 EDITION

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

    This <a href="http://beta.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?PropertyId=14085863" target="_blank">six-bedroom home in St. John’s</a>, constructed over 100 years ago, boasts beautiful original features like beveled glass and “intricate” plaster work, as well as modern additions, such as “spa inspired ensuites with in-floor heated marble,” according to the listing.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $1.85 million

  • New Brunswick: $2.9 million

    This is actually two finished houses on 235 acres of land near St-Francois, N.B., and it's definitely one of those properties that look better on the inside than the outside. <a href="http://beta.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?PropertyId=13978788" target="_blank">Vaulted ceilings and fireplaces adorn this building</a>, which also boasts long walks in the woods -- on the property.

  • New Brunswick: $2.9 million

  • New Brunswick: $2.9 million

  • New Brunswick: $2.9 million

  • New Brunswick: $2.9 million

Those low interest rates are making consumers more comfortable taking on debt and even talking about debt with their household, Daly says.

The survey finds nearly four in 10 homeowners are more comfortable carrying debt than their parents, and nearly 30 per cent say they discuss their debt with their family more than their parents did.

The Manulife survey found Canadians are unsure if they are in better shape to handle debt than their parents were, with 38 per cent saying it will be harder to pay off, and 23 per cent saying it will be easier.

Canada’s household debt has been near all-time highs above 163 per cent of household income for the past few years, after doubling, relative to income, over the past 25 years.

Mortgage debt continues to grow in Canada, reaching $1.1 trillion in total in the first quarter of this year, up 0.6 per cent over the previous quarter, StatsCan reported. But that marks the slowest pace of mortgage debt uptake since 2009, suggesting Canadians may be taking to heart warnings that debt may be getting out of control in the country.

One such warning came last week from Canada's banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), whose second-in-command last week warned that low interest rates and high house prices have made lending riskier in Canada than it was a decade ago.

Another alarm came from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which issued a report last week that identified Canada as a country where early warning signals of a banking crisis are flashing.

The BIS said credit in Canada is growing 5.6 per cent faster than it should be, given historical norms, and it’s in these circumstances that lenders often make bad loans, weakening the banking system.

However the report identified several countries at much greater risk of a banking crisis than Canada, including China, Brazil, India, Switzerland and Turkey.