Affordability continues to weaken in Vancouver
A new report shows that housing affordability in Vancouver has continued to become harder. The Desjardins Affordability Index shows that the average selling price in the metro is almost $850,000 which is double the average price in the other cities included in the study ($424,000) and 10 times the average income in the area. The report includes 18 areas but does not feature Atlantic Canada as Desjardins does not operate in the region. The second least affordable city is Toronto but the ratio of average income ($92,000) to home price ($560,000) is far lower. Calgary is the most affordable with average household income of $120,000 and houses averaging $445,000. Desjardins report shows that nationally the affordability of housing is roughly in line with historic averages but has dipped slightly so far this year.
Real estate “off its peak” says Concorde boss
The president and CEO of Concorde Group says that the real estate sector is “clearly off our peak” but that it is “just a temporary adjustment”. Speaking at the Saskatchewan Real Estate Forum this week David Dube said that markets do not increase for ever and the soft landing that we are starting to experience in some markets is healthy. Mr Dube said that the industry is in good shape and although the softer conditions may last for a while he believes the industry is “as healthy as it’s ever been.” The Star Phoenix reports that the Concorde boss expects both residential and commercial markets to ease back but that they will still be strong. He called for all interested parties in the real estate sector to work together and share information about the upcoming trends.
Non-permanent residents important to the housing market
New figures show that the number of non-permanent residents is growing and a CIBC report says that they are an important factor in the housing market. Deputy economist Benjamin Tal says that Ottawa should consider the impact on the rental market in particular before making any changes to the temporary workers program. Tal says that non-permanent residents are at a record high with 770,000 now in Canada; 50 per cent are workers and 38 per cent students. In the last decade 450,000 non-permanent residents have crossed the borders. A decline in the number of migrant workers, which could be the result of any changes to federal regulations, could have a real impact on housing, particular condo markets in Toronto and Vancouver Mr Tal warned.