RBC’s Housing Affordability Measure for Saskatoon “effectively matching the long term average”

RBC Economics released their Housing Trends and Affordability report for February of 2016 this week. They had this to say about Saskatchewan’s major real estate markets.

Saskatoon – Navigating in choppy waters

Saskatoon’s housing market managed to contain its losses as it navigated through fairly choppy waters in 2015. Home resales fell by 13% last year to a four-year low of 5,215 units; however, prices stayed above water and registered modest gains overall. Buyer sentiment was seriously tested by a surge in Saskatoon’s unemployment rate, which reached an 11-year high (6.4%) by the year-end 2015. At the same time, the market worked through elevated levels of unabsorbed units following strong housing construction in the previous two years. Demand-supply conditions softened gradually but consistently, such that buyers gained the upper hand during the second half of the year, and point to increasing price weakness in the period ahead. Meanwhile, housing affordability continued to trend sideways in 2015. RBC’s aggregate measure was little changed on the year but edged downward marginally by 0.1 percentage points to 32.7% in the fourth quarter—effectively matching the long- term average of 32.3%.

Regina – Soft market conditions sustain improving affordability trends

These were also challenging times for the Regina market in 2015. Not only did the number of homes sold in the area fall by 8.1%, but also prices followed a modest downward trajectory during the year. While the local job market held up better than in Saskatoon, slowing population growth and elevated levels of unsold new homes kept demand-supply conditions quite soft in Regina. At the margin, housing affordability might still be a slightly restrain- ing factor for buyers—given that it remains a touch poorer than the area’s historical norms and still recovering from sharp deterioration during the 2007 –2008 interval—however, it is unlikely to be the dominant force weighing on the market at this stage. RBC’s aggregate measure continued to trend lower in 2015, posting a 0.4 percentage point decline in the fourth quarter to 28.3%. We expect this improving trend to persist in the short term.
Find the full report which covers national and regional affordability trends here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

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Housing affordability continues to trend sideways in Saskatchewan: RBC

Even though home prices made some small gains, incomes increased faster and Canadians saw a slightly improved picture in housing affordability through the fourth quarter of 2013, according to RBC’s latest Housing Trends and Affordability report. RBC Economics measures housing affordability in and across Canada by studying and reporting on the percentage of income required to pay for housing in various categories.

Closer to home, Saskatchewan home buyers saw a continuation of a “sideways trend” with affordability levels at historical norms as market activity was “quite stable at elevated levels for the second consecutive quarter.”

Right here in Saskatoon, home ownership costs as a percentage of income also remained stable across the three most popular housing types.

Read the entire RBC Housing Trends and Affordability report.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

If you purchased a home in 2013 you may qualify for a $5,000 income tax credit

If you purchased a home in 2013 you may qualify to claim a $5,000 tax credit if you and the home you bought “qualify.” Check this short video or read on below it to find out if you and the home qualify.

Do you qualify?

You or your spouse or your common-law partner must have purchased a qualifying home in 2013.

You must not have lived in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.

Does the home qualify?

The home must be located in Canada and it must be registered to you, your spouse or your common-law partner. You or a disabled relative must move into the home within one year of purchase. The home can be new or used. Types of homes that qualify include:

  • Single-family houses
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Townhouses
  • Mobile homes
  • Condominium units
  • Apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings

I qualify! How do I make the claim?

Enter $5,000 on line 369 of Schedule 1 of your federal income tax return.

More on the tax credit from the Government of Canada.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here now.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Housing affordability sees modest deterioration in Q2, 2013 nationally and at home: RBC

A recently released “Housing Trends and Affordability” study conducted by RBC Economics says, the “recent upswing in the Canadian housing market brought with it some mild erosion in housing affordability in the second quarter of 2013.” According to the report, tightening supply and demand conditions led to a modest increase in prices over the quarter, nationally.

Closer to home, RBC had this to say about housing affordability in Saskatchewan.

Housing affordability in Saskatchewan in the second quarter of 2013 continued to display the seesaw pattern that has been characteristic of that market in recent years. RBC’s measures for single-family homes rose modestly in the latest period (by 0.9 percentage points for bungalows and 0.5 percentage points for two-storey homes), largely offsetting declines in the first quarter, while the measure for condominium apartments inched lower (by 0.3 percentage points) and further reversed increases that occurred in late 2012. Alternating increases and declines from quarter to quarter generated a fairly flat trend in affordability since 2009, thereby maintaining affordability levels close to historical averages in the province. With little affordability pressure restraining them, Saskatchewan homebuyers sprung into action in the second quarter, boosting home resales by nearly 14% relative to the first quarter. Notable gains were registered in both Saskatoon and Regina. The province’s strong labour market and population growth should continue to support housing demand in the short term.

Download and read the entire RBC Housing Trends and Affordability report.

Read also: Housing market not the most affordable – Star Phoenix

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon housing affordability sees first signs of erosion in three years: Demographia

You probably don’t need an international study to confirm that housing is expensive in most major metropolitan areas of Canada. Saskatoon is no exception.

“Affordability” is a slightly more complicated beast. There are a number of ways that one can examine affordability. One of those methods compares the median* income for an area against the median home price. Demographia, an organization that tracks changes to affordability uses what they call “median multiples.” The median multiple is derived by dividing the median income into the median price. As seen on the following chart, Canadians can expect to pay roughly 3.6 times the median income for a home priced at the median. So, even if prices are rising affordability can improve if incomes are rising at a faster pace.

Clear enough? Good!

After three successive years of slightly improved affordability, Saskatoon slipped back into the ranks of what Demographia considers “seriously unaffordable” as the median multiple for the area increased from 4 to 4.3, its highest point since 2008 when it had reached 4.6.

Regina showed the largest erosion moving from 3.3 to 3.8 but still managed to maintain a “moderately unaffordable” rating from Demographia.

The picture improved somewhat in Vancouver, which holds the distinction of being the second most unaffordable market in the world, as the median multiple falls from 10.6 to 9.5 over the course of the year.

See the entire Demographia survey for 2013 and past reports for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009,2008, 2007, and 2006.

*The median defines the centre point where half of all values are above and half are below that point. For instance, if the median income for an area were $50,000 then half off all income earners would earn more than that and half would earn less. In the case of home values, it’s the point at which half of all sales occur above the number, and half occur below.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate