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Dan Penner Mortgage Advisor

Dan Penner

Mortgage Advisor


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No respite for Canadian housing affordability in Q4 2023

2/23/2024

From National Bank of Canada

The fourth quarter of 2023 witnessed a second consecutive deterioration for housing affordability in Canada. The degradation was widespread with every single market experiencing an increase in their mortgage payment as a percentage of income (MPPI) due to both higher interest rates and rising home prices. This worsening has practically eliminated recent improvements in affordability and our index at the national level is almost back to its worst affordability since the 1980s. That said, the headline index dissimulates a more worrisome picture. Indeed, the condo sub-index has reached its highest level of unaffordability in at least two decades. In other words, it would take nearly half of pre-tax median household income to service the median condo mortgage. With the condo market typically being the entry point for first-time homebuyers it leaves the latter with few options. While homeownership is becoming untenable, the rental market offers little respite. Our rental affordability index has never been worse. It would take nearly one third of pre-tax household income to pay for the average rent of a two-bedroom condo. The outlook for the coming year is fraught with challenges. While mortgage interest rates are showing signs of waning in the face of expected rate cuts by the central bank, housing demand remains supported by unprecedented population growth. As a result, we expect some upside to prices in 2024. On the rental side, in a recently released report by the CMHC, Canada`s rental market vacancy stumbled to a record low of 1.5% which leaves little room for an improvement in rents. Supply for any segment of the market isn`t expected to pick up anytime soon as building permits in many Canadian cities has plummeted at the end of 2023.

https://www.nbc.ca/content/dam/bnc/taux-analyses/analyse-eco/logement/housing-affordability.pdf

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