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Vancouver housing affordability improves – but still worst in Canada: RBC

Vancouver’s real-estate market remains the priciest in Canada, even though affordability has continued to improve for the past three quarters, RBC reported yesterday.

In 2013’s first quarter, owning a detached bungalow would take up 82.3% of a typical income earner’s pre-tax paycheque, up 0.1 percentage points from the previous quarter. That compares with 53.8% for Toronto and 38.7% for Calgary.

The cost of owning a condo in Vancouver decreased 0.2 percentage points to 41.6% of pre-tax income.

“The cumulative affordability improvement across British Columbia in the past year has been the biggest among the provinces, which is a good news story,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist at RBC.

“That said, the Vancouver area’s affordability remains extremely poor and continues to weigh on the overall provincial housing market.”

That drag resulted in provincial home sales being 30% below the 10-year average for the quarter.

RBC noted that Vancouver home resales are starting to stabilize after dropping throughout 2012. In the fourth quarter, Vancouver home sales had fallen to 40% below the 10 year average. By Jen St.

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