Local Housing Markets Across Canada Remain Affordable

Most local housing markets across Canada continue to be reasonably affordable or at worst, slightly 'unaffordable', according to the latest Housing Trends and Affordability report released by RBC Economics Research.

Canada's housing affordability did slip for a second consecutive quarter this year as a result of higher home prices and mortgage rate increases.

Affordability across the country remains close to historical norms; however, rapidly eroding affordability in the Vancouver-area market is skewing the national picture.

According to RBC Chief Economist Craig Wright, renewed “turmoil in global financial markets has caused heightened uncertainty with respect to the pace of global growth and we need to factor this into our outlook for the Canadian housing market.”  He went on to say, however, that “this volatility might have a silver lining; housing affordability in Canada may not deteriorate as quickly or by as much as we previously expected."

Here in Manitoba, housing affordability has continued along in the 'neutral zone' this quarter. RBC measures experienced a modest deterioration in the latest quarter - ranging from 0.7 to 1.2 percentage points. This rise in homeownership costs may have contributed to cooling in spring home resale activity, though major flooding in the province likely caused some disruptions in certain areas. Before spring, Manitoba's existing home sales registered the best first quarter ever, led by strong gains in Winnipeg.

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