Post Category: Research
November 15, 2018
Housing affordability worsens again in Q3 2018

In Q3, affordability worsened in no less than 9 out of ten urban markets which explains the
13th consecutive deterioration of our urban composite index. Expensive housing markets
such as Vancouver and Toronto slowed down markedly in 2018 and home prices even
declined in Q3 due to the combined effect of rising mortgage rates (up for a fifth consecutive
quarter) and macro prudential measures. Despite lower home prices, homebuyer
affordability failed to improve as wages were down in those markets (left chart). Elsewhere,
Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau experienced the sharpest deteriorations in affordability
among urban centers in Q3 but for another reason: home prices surged respectively by 2.1%
and 2.5% Q/Q. These markets appear to be unaffected by rising interest rates and tighter
credit standards as shown by resale market conditions being strongly tilted in favor of sellers.
Looking at the national picture, while a significant portion of home buyers have been priced
out of single-family homes, demand is currently strong for condos as shown by prices rising
6.8% over the past year (non-condo prices are flat). As a result, the affordability deterioration
was more pronounced in this segment (vs. non-condo) in each of the last four quarters (right
chart).

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