Housing affordability improved in the first quarter of 2016 in 6 out of 10 markets analyzed for a report from National Bank. Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau saw the greatest improvements but the national figure, showing the proportion of income needed for mortgage payments on a median-priced home, edged 0.1 per cent higher. Nationally homeowners would need to spend 31 per cent of their income on mortgage payments.
The rise was driven by the increasing prices in Vancouver and Toronto while Calgary saw affordability increase as prices fell. Homeowners in the city would require 28.2 per cent of their income for a mortgage on a median-priced home; a year earlier the figure was above 30 per cent. Montreal also saw increased affordability as prices were broadly flat while mortgage costs declined.
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