[RBC] Market downturn's silver lining: an affordability boost
by Joel Bates | June 28, 2019
According to RBC’s latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report, powered in part by Real Property
Solutions’ (RPS) Home Price Index, the national home ownership costs have eased for the second-straight quarter keeping the home-ownership dream alive in most markets. Looking at the proportion of families who can afford to own a home, a near majority of families would be able to cover the cost of owning an average home in 9 of the 14 markets that are tracked. Severe affordability issues remain for all but the wealthiest in Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria.
The RBC Housing Affordability Measure
The RBC Housing Affordability Measure shows the proportion of household income required to service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes, and utilities based on the average market price for a certain housing type in a given market. A higher number means that buying a home is less affordable.
Current home prices are sourced from the RPS House Price Index. The affordability measures are based on a 25% down payment, a 25-year mortgage loan at a five-year fixed rate and are estimated on a quarterly bases for 14 major urban markets and a national composite.
What to expect going forward
RBC expects overall home-ownership costs to continue to ease in the near term, albeit incrementally. Interest rates are no longer poised to increase amid heightened global trade uncertainty. And despite signs of a cyclical market bottom emerging this spring, they expect home prices to remain under downward pressure for months to come in many western Canadian markets.