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.
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.
Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.
Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.