Housing is my favourite topic as personal finance columnist at The Globe and Mail. Buying a house is the biggest financial commitment most of us will ever make, and people who bought in the past few decades have done fabulously well. The problem is that the market today is too expensive for a growing number of Canadians. They may still score a mortgage, but they won’t be able to afford to live the lifestyles they want without falling into debt, and it’s hard to see them saving enough for retirement. If young people can’t afford to buy, where does that leave the baby boomers who will be cashing out of their homes in the decade or two ahead? To help keep up with the latest developments in the real estate market, follow my Housing Heretic forum on Flipboard.
ICYMI – Essential reading for homebuyers
Affordability: Introducing the Real Life Ratio
Never rely on your mortgage lender to show you how much house you can afford. For a real life affordability gauge, try my Real Life Ratio. It considers not only your ability to make your mortgage payments, but also to save for the future and meet expenses like daycare and car payments.
Can You Afford a House in These Cities?
The bad news: Vancouver and Toronto are deserts of affordability, and Calgary’s starting to look troublesome. The good: National data obscure the fact that affordability is still reasonable in some cities.