Confidence in Canadian housing market declines: CAAMP survey

When asked if now was a good time or a bad time to buy a new home in their community on a scale of one to 10, with a 10 representing the best time, respondents nationally scored 5.99 this spring, according to survey published by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP). The score was 6.08% in the fall of 2010, and was as high as 6.56 in the fall of 2009.

The average response has now slid for three consecutive surveys, although it is still well above the scores of 2008 and 2007.

“The drop in scores for this question may reflect the deterioration of housing affordability that has resulted from rapid growth of house prices in many communities,” said the report.

Alberta has shown the greatest growth in home-buying confidence, shooting from 3.2 in the fall of 2006 to 6.3 this spring – the highest score of any province, according to the survey. The lowest scores were in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 5.3 and 5.5 respectively.

Saskatchewan respondents were the most likely to think their community’s housing prices would rise in the next year, scoring 6.52 on the survey, followed by Quebec at 6.41. British Columbia residents, having already seen prices rise above most parts of the country, scored lowest at 6.19.

The survey also showed Canadians were borrowing more against their homes, taking $26 billion worth of equity from their homes in 2010, compared to about $20 billion in 2009.

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