Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New listings help make homes bit more affordable

  • Print

A surge in new listings helped to push house prices a little lower and make most types of homes a little more affordable in the final three months of 2013, a new Royal Bank report says.

In its latest quarterly Housing Trends and Affordability Report released Tuesday, RBC Economics Research said the cost of owning a standard two-storey home in the province declined by 1.1 percentage points to 38.6 per cent of pre-tax household income during the quarter. And the cost of owning a standard bungalow dipped by 0.6 percentage points to 38 per cent.

The only type of home that bucked that trend was standard condominiums, where home-ownership costs rose by 0.8 percentage points to 24.9 per cent, the bank said.

The report said more listings in the latter part of 2013 meant more choice for homebuyers, which helped to drive prices slightly lower.

And more balanced market conditions should help keep prices rising at a moderate pace in the first half of 2014, it said, although rising interest rates could erode affordability later in the year.

"While we expect the Bank of Canada to leave its overnight rate unchanged in 2014, we forecast an upward drift in bond yields -- the main driver of fixed mortgage rates -- ahead of what is likely to be a gradual pace of policy tightening by both the U.S. and Canadian central banks," the bank said.

Craig Wright, RBC's senior vice-president and chief economist, said the slight decline in prices in the late stages of 2013 kept home ownership in Manitoba relatively affordable compared with most other major Canadian cities.

"Our measures for all housing types in the province stayed reasonably on par with historical norms in the province, suggesting that little affordability pressure is being exerted on Manitoba's homebuyers at the present time," he added.

That's a welcome change from the first three quarters of 2013, when affordability deteriorated in the face of escalating house prices.

The bank said the average price for a bungalow in Manitoba in Q4 was $308,500, which was down 1.1 per cent from the previous quarter. The average price for a two-storey home was $310,500, which was a drop of 2.6 per cent from the previous quarter.

However, the average price for a standard condo rose by 5.5 per cent to $207,600.

The RBC housing affordability measure is based on the cost of owning a detached bungalow, two-storey home or condo at market value. The higher the measure, the more difficult it is to afford a home. For example, an affordability reading of 50 per cent means homeowner costs, including mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes, would take up 50 per cent of a typical household's monthly pre-tax income.

British Columbia continues to have the least affordable housing, with an affordability measure for a standard bungalow of 67.7 per cent. And Vancouver continues to be the least affordable city, with an affordability measure for a bungalow of 81.6 per cent.

Winnipeg was not one of the six cities where affordability was measured.

Nationally, after two straight quarters of modest deterioration, housing affordability improved mildly in Canada in the final quarter of 2013 due to stronger income gains.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 26, 2014 B5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Hit the dirt with Monster Jam this weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the possibility of terror attacks in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google