Courtesy of CREB.  By Mario Toneguzzi

Housing affordability has been the talk of the nation in recent years, especially as tighter mortgage regulations and higher borrowing costs have started to impact housing markets across the country.
A recent report by RBC Economic Research indicates that Calgary’s housing market isn’t out of reach for many potential homebuyers, especially when compared to the Vancouver and Toronto markets, as well as the Canadian average.

The RBC Housing Affordability Measure is the proportion of median pre-tax household income required to service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes and utilities based on the average market price for single-family detached homes and condo apartments, as well as for an overall aggregate of all housing types in a given market.

For the Canadian aggregate, of 14 major markets surveyed, the average price was $504,100. The affordability measure of 48.4 per cent was up 0.4 per cent quarter-over-quarter and 2.3 per cent year-over-year. The measure’s average since 1985 is 39.7 per cent.

For Calgary, the aggregate price was $506,300 and the affordability measure was 43.0 per cent, up 0.5 per cent from the previous quarter and 1.3 per cent from last year. The measure’s long-term average was 41.5 per cent.

When looking at the national picture, it’s always interesting to see where Calgary rates overall compared to other major cities, which often compete with the city to attract people and businesses.

Vancouver, with an aggregate price of $1.158 million, had an affordability measure of 87.8 per cent. Meanwhile, Toronto had an aggregate price of $848,100 and an affordability measure of 74.2 per cent. Montreal sat at $405,000 and 43.7 per cent, while Ottawa landed at $407,600 and 36.6 per cent.

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