Canadians from coast to coast saw a higher percentage of their income going towards housing costs in the second quarter of 2010, largely driven by an increase in house prices and mortgage interest rates when compared against the first quarter. This marks the fourth consecutive time that RBC’s “Housing Affordability Measure” rose. According to the Housing Trends and Affordability report released by RBC Economicsthis morning, the increases have managed to consume roughly half of the improvements experienced in late 2008 and early 2009 when house prices in most areas of Canada cooled significantly.
The deterioration in affordability was seen across the country with the worst of it experienced in Ontario and British Columbia with the remaining provinces seeing “minor erosion.” Only Saskatchewan and Manitoba experienced some improvements, though they were limited to townhomes in the former and condominiums in the latter.
“While home resale activity in Saskatchewan has been on a declining trend in recent months, home prices have held up to a large extent. In the second quarter, prices either appreciated moderately or edged lower just marginally, depending on the housing type. With mortgage rates rising during the quarter, affordability generally eroded some more in the province. RBC Housing Affordability Measures moved up between 0.6 and 1.5 percentage points (townhouses bucked the trend, edging lower by 0.1 percentage points). These increases pushed levels further above long-term averages, thereby indicating that some tensions may be building in the provincial market. Nonetheless, we expect that a strong rebound in the provincial economy this year and next will likely help ease such tensions.”
Read the entire report here.
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