Saskatoon Mortgage Broker shares article on Canadian Home Affordability

Canadian home affordability caught in a tug of war

Article by Tara Perkins, The Globe and Mail, May 27, 2014

“The affordability of homes in Canada is caught in a tug of war between rising prices and lower mortgage rates. But the country’s biggest bank predicts that that’s all about to change.

Royal Bank of Canada will release its latest affordability study Tuesday, and it shows that higher prices won the latest round, with Canadian home prices rising at their fastest pace in almost two years. Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto led the charge, causing houses to become less affordable despite a reduction in mortgage rates.

But RBC chief economist Craig Wright tells me he thinks the dynamics will shift. He expects that, industry-wide, five-year fixed mortgage rates will likely rise by about 0.75 percentage points this year, followed by further increases next year. The growth in prices, meanwhile, is expected to simmer down.

While the tug of war will change, the end result is still likely to be further erosion of affordability.

“With prices levelling off, that will be neutral to maybe slightly negative for affordability, but as rates go higher, that will make affordability a bit more of a challenge,” Mr. Wright says.”

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