Two-storey houses become more affordable in Manitoba

WINNIPEG — Two-storey homes became a little more affordable for Manitobans in the first few months of 2012, according to a new report from RBC Economics.


“In fact, Manitoba was one of the few provinces which bucked the broad national trend of deterioration in affordability for two-storey homes, as this market segment became slightly more wallet-friendly for buyers in the last quarter,” RBC senior economist Robert Hogue said today as the bank released its latest quarterly Housing Trends and Affordability Report.


RBC’s housing affordability index measures the proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home at the going market value.


The bank said the affordability index for two-storey homes in Manitoba dipped by 0.2 per cent to 38.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year.


However, the cost of owning a standard bungalow or a condominium increased slightly in the quarter, the bank said.


The index for a bungalow edged up 0.1 per cent to 35.9 per cent, while the index for a condo rose by 0.4 percentage points to 22.2 per cent.


Nationally, RBC said housing affordability deteriorated slightly following two consecutive quarters of improvements.


“While the deterioration in affordability was felt to varying degrees across the country, it was mild in most cases,” said Craig Wright, the bank’s senior vice-president and chief economist.