Post Category: Research
June 26, 2019
Housing affordability improves in 2019 Q1 amid healthy labour market

Affordability improved in Q1 by the most since 2014 as measured by the urban composite index as eight of the ten urban markets progressed in the quarter (left chart). The healthy labour market was the largest contributor to this development via a significant increase in income (+1.0%) that outpaced the increase in home prices (+0.3%) – left chart. Coincidentally, mortgage rates were not a drag on affordability for the first time in 7 quarters. Vancouver experienced the largest improvement in affordability among urban markets in Q1 but that was mostly due to declining home prices. We continue to expect price weakness in this market as resale conditions remain favourable to buyers in both the condo and non-condo segments so far in Q2. In Toronto, the composite is showing a slight improvement but this is solely due to the non-condo segment. Indeed, condo market affordability deteriorated further with prices jumping 2.0% in Q1 as the imbalance between supply and demand favoured sellers. Looking ahead, there is hope for further improvement in affordability in Canada in Q2 given the recent drop in mortgage rates.

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