According to this article in friday’s Province, housing affordability just improved across canada, even right here in the GVRD! Won’t this be good news for first time buyers!
In Greater Vancouver, the percentage of household income needed to service mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes actually improved in the fourth quarter of 2006. For a detached two-storey home, the measure dipped slightly from 74.9 per cent of median family income of about $58,000 in the third quarter to 73.5 in the fourth.
Vancouver’s affordability metrics are in a sharp contrast to other Canadian cities. That same two-storey home requires 48.8 per cent in Toronto, 43.1 per cent in Calgary and 35.2 per cent in Ottawa.
The down-tick in Vancouver is hardly going to trigger a stampede of buyers to the detached-home market, said RBC assistant chief economists Derek Holt.
“In terms of one quarter’s worth of evidence, this isn’t going to make any material difference [in sales],” said Holt. “You almost have to get out the microscope to see the affordability improvements. But our view is this is the start of a trend that will unfold throughout the course of the year and will start to attract first-time buyers.”
The condo and townhouse markets are still looking attractive to Vancouver first-time buyers. A townhouse required 51.6 per cent of household income, while a condo demanded 35.4 per cent.