Should brokers in these markets be worried?
Desjardins Group Economic Studies released a statement on Tuesday declaring the Canadian housing market is less affordable than the average affordability of the last 25 years, citing the average home prices across the country are eclipsing household income – due, in part, by a rush to buy prior to interest rate hikes.
“Rising mortgage rates during the summer hurried buyers; many took action out of fear that mortgage rates would climb even higher,” the statement said. “Even if the coming months bring more increases; they won't be enough to trigger a significant dip in affordability.”
Most markets, however, are still affordable… outside Quebec and the Toronto, that is.
“Despite a decline in nearly all Ontario CMAs, most markets are still affordable. Toronto is an exception, where the average home price is $527,821, well above that observed in other agglomerations in the province,” the report stated. “The Desjardins Affordability Index is only slightly under the historical average in Calgary, despite relatively high home prices ($438,793 in the third quarter).”
And although housing prices may be lower in hot Quebec markets, they are still considered less affordable than their more expensive counterparts in BC; due to the average income disparity.
“Sherbrooke and Quebec City rank alongside Vancouver as some of the least affordable agglomerations in the country,” the report said. “Even though housing prices are much lower than on the west coast, incomes in these two CMAs are considerably lower, making home purchases more difficult.”
However, the Quebec-based financial services conglomerate reports its home province is experiencing a teeter-totter of sorts; with a lowering in prices in some markets being cancelled out by rising prices in others.
“Rising prices are losing steam in the Quebec City market while prices in Montreal are starting to edge down,” according to the report. “Prices continue to rise, however, for single-family homes, whose market is balanced, overall. Housing prices continued to climb in Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Saguenay and Trois-Rivières, affordability thus deteriorated in the third quarter.”