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2180 Steeles Avenue West,
Suite 204, Concord,
ON, L4K 2Z5

Phone:     905-761-7001
Toll Free: 1855-761-7001
Fax:          905-761-7005

Email: mortgageadvisor@rogers.com



HST - WHAT IS TAXABLE?

12 August 2019

Housing affordability is improving in Canada

Although it’s really too soon to say housing has become affordable in Canada, the new data shows we’re heading in the right direction and at a good pace.

According to the National Bank of Canada, in the second quarter of 2019, the cost of owning a home, relative to income, showed the largest decline in 10 years.

The last time we’ve seen such an improvement was caused by a rapid slowdown during the crisis of 2008-09. This time, it’s all about decreasing mortgage rates and growing wages.

In 11 major cities, it would cost you 45.1% of an average income to afford a median-priced property. It’s lower than 48.7%, reported in Q1, but still much higher than 30%, when the housing is considered affordable.

In case of Toronto, the number fell from 63.2% to 58.1%, while Vancouver showed 76.6% - still too high, but lower than the previous 83.2%.

“The main factor of this change is the drop in mortgage rates,” - National Bank economists Matthieu Arseneau and Kyle Dahms noted.

Together with unchanged or declining home prices in many markets and faster wage growth, it created the perfect conditions for the affordability improvement.

However, they say although it’s easier to manage mortgage payments, buyers still have to undergo the mortgage stress test, and the rate used for that was down by only 0.15%.

“Most potential homebuyers which were pushed out of the market by the stress test still remain there”, - the economists said.

Nevertheless, the conditions may change, as Toronto and Vancouver are reporting signs of acceleration, with July home sales rising by 24% in both markets annually.

Many specialists believe the market has adjusted to measures aimed at cooling a sharp prices increase and borrowing, including foreign buyers’ taxes and the mortgage stress test. Moreover, borrowing costs are going down across the world, and it could push Canada’s rates to the new low levels.

Some worry that such changes may return us to an excessive price growth.

 

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