Canadian home affordability rises

Canadian home affordability rises



December 10, 2012

Housing affordability toronto vaughanRoyal Bank says the cost of home ownership became more affordable in the most recent quarter due to a modest decline in home prices and gains in Canadian household incomes.
RBC’s affordability index for a detached bungalow stood at 42 per cent of income nationally in the second quarter.

That means an owner would need to spend 42 per cent of pre-tax annual income to pay for mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes — one percentage point lower than in the third quarter of 2011.

The index fell even more for two-storey homes, by 1.2 percentage points to 47.8 per cent and eased 0.6 percentage points to 28 per cent for condos.

The bank, which publishes the index on a quarterly basis, says ultra low interest rates have been the key factor in keeping affordability levels from reaching dangerous levels in recent years.

Despite the recent improvement in affordability, RBC said the amount of income to service home ownership costs continues to be higher than long-term averages.

RBC notes that Canada’s housing market cooled further in the third quarter, partially because of the effects of a fourth round of rule changes to government-backed mortgage insurance.

The bank expects the negative effect of the changes on home sales will ease by the end of the year and that resale activity will stabilize next year. -Reuters

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