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Saskatchewan shows considerable housing affordability improvement: RBC

RBC Economics just released their fall Housing Trends and Affordability studythat shows house prices having returned to “pre-boom” levels nationally with Saskatchewan showing considerable affordability improvements, but remaining above long-term historical averages. At the same time, the graph on page eight of the report suggests that affordability improvements may level off as Saskatoon seems to be trending back towards “seller’s market” territory.


Housing affordability improved in Canada for the fifth consecutive quarter during the second quarter...At the national level, affordability has now been restored to pre-housing boom levels (that is, those prevailing in late 2005-early 2006)... However, this restorative phase of the affordability cycle is likely running out of steam. The two major contributors to the significant improvement during the past year or so — the decline in mortgage rates and the drift down in prices — appear to have reached turning points.


Homeownership continued to become more accessible in Saskatchewan in the second quarter with RBC’s affordability measures falling between 0.4 and 1.4 percentage points. The measures have retreated considerably since their peaks early last year. However, they are still some distance above long-term averages, although these averages might have been depressed by previously unfavourable migration flows that have since been reversed. Certainly, the current levels of affordability do not appear to have been an obstacle to buyers taking the plunge in recent months. Sales of existing homes in the province have rebounded smartly, up by more than 50% since their low in March. If sustained, this will eventually heat up property prices, which are still trending modestly, lower.


This graph shows the recent affordability trend for the four Saskatoon housing types that RBC tracks and reports on, in comparison to the historical norm for the area. The figures shown on the graph represent the “proportion of median pre-tax household income required to service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and utilities” on the various housing types. So, of course, the lower the figure, the more affordable the homes are.


Saskatoon housing affordability trend compared to long-term historical norm


Read the full RBC report here.


Thanks for the heads up to my friend Larry Yatkowsky who runs Yatter Matterswhere he blogs about the Vancouver real estate market.


I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.


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Norm Fisher, TeamFisher

About Norm

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 650 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.Less...

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 650 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.

Norm is known for his passion for technology and can most often be found exploring and experimenting with the next big thing in real estate marketing. He was the first Saskatoon real estate agent to promote a home online and has been an early adopter of new technologies ever since. “Everything about this business has changed over the past 20 years, and it will happen again in the next ten. An open mind and a curious attitude are all that’s needed to continue to find new ways to serve our clients by delivering a faster, smoother, worry-free transaction,” says Norm.

In his spare time, Norm enjoys Crossfit and cycling, some years accumulating over 2,000 kilometres on the road. He’s a strong supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and enjoys raising funds by joining fun, fitness-related initiatives like the Grouse Grind for Shelter. In 2015, he trekked the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. In 2017 he walked the southern highlands of Iceland across mountains, sand, snow, ice, lava fields and forest for seven days. Collectively those initiatives raised over a million dollars for Canadian women's shelters.
 

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