Edmonton Sun Homes-Extra

Affordability levels in Alberta remained relatively attractive in the third quarter of 2013, with measures standing below their historical averages and the national averages, according to the latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report issued by RBC Economics Research.


Alberta's strong provincial economy and rapidly rising population continue to fuel housing market activity -- third quarter home resales increased by 7.8 % from the second quarter, the fastest pace in nearly three years," said Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist, RBC. "The province's unrelenting economic boom bodes well for continued solid housing market conditions next year."


In the third quarter of 2013, RBC's housing affordability measures, which capture the province's proportion of pretax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home at market values, edged slightly higher for all three categories tracked (an increase in the measure represents deterioration in affordability). RBC's measure for bungalows rose by 0.6 percentage points to 32.5 % and the measure for two-storey homes rose 0.2 percentage points to 34.6% The measure for condominiums increased slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 19.6 %.

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Today’s Bank of Canada rate hold announcement marks almost four straight years that the key benchmark rate has remained unchanged, since September 8, 2010. Great news if you have a variable-rate mortgage or home equity line of credit; the prime rate stays at 3%.


The announcement noted that “the risks to the outlook for inflation remain roughly balanced, while the risks associated with household imbalances have not diminished.” With these considerations, the Bank is maintaining its monetary policy stimulus, and remains neutral with respect to the timing and direction of the next change.


The next rate-setting day is October 22nd.

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