Trend towards improved housing affordability reverses in Q3-2009: RBC

From RBC’s November 2009 Housing Trends and Affordability Study

The string of significant improvements in housing affordability in Canada finally came to an end in the third quarter. RBC’s affordability measures rose at the national level for the first time in six quarters for all housing types.

All provinces and major metro markets shared in the deterioration in affordability in the third quarter. British Columbia, especially Vancouver, posted the biggest increases by far in the RBC measures. Toronto and Calgary also recorded notable increases for some housing types, while the rise in the cost of home ownership in the rest of the country has generally been modest.

After steadily improving for more than a year, housing affordability in Saskatchewan deteriorated modestly in the third quarter, with RBC’s affordability measures climbing between 0.5 and 1.0-percentage points. This reflected higher mortgage payments that have resulted from the small increase in mortgage rates as well as stronger property values in many areas of the province. While the cost of home ownership declined substantially in the past year, it remains historically high in the province, as it has only partly reversed the unprecedented increase registered during the boom from late-2006 to early-2008. However, levels that prevailed prior to the boom might have been depressed by previously unfavourable migration flows, which have since reversed. Overall, resale activity in Saskatchewan continues to carry tremendous momentum, being especially vigorous in the past few months with levels close to the records set in late-2007 and early-2008.

Read the full RBC report here.

Thanks to Jen for the heads up on the release of this report.

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Royal LePage Vidorra

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