Home ownership getting less affordable in Canada

TORONTO — RBC says home ownership was less affordable in most major Canadian cities during the first quarter, although Calgary and Edmonton bucked the trend.The latest RBC Economics report on home affordability says its index deteriorated sharply in Vancouver and to a lesser degree in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa — primarily due to higher real-estate prices.But the bank’s affordability index was unchanged in Calgary and improved in Edmonton compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. [np-related]The report tracks how much of a home owner’s income would be required to pay typical costs associated with owning a standard one-storey detached house.In Vancouver, RBC estimates the combined cost of mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes rose 3.1 percentage points to 88.9%.In Calgary, by contrast, only about 36.7% of pre-tax income would be required to pay for a standard bungalow — unchanged from the previous study — and in Edmonton the index improved by 0.4 percentage point to 32.4%.In Toronto, the index deteriorated by 1.2 percentage points to 53.4%; in Montreal, the cost of ownership increased 1.2 percentage points to 41.4% of income and in Ottawa it was up 0.9% to 41.8%.“It became a little tougher on household budgets to carry the costs of owning a home at market prices at the start of this year,” said Craig Wright, RBC’s chief economist said in a statement Tuesday.“Strong buyer demand was a principal driver of the modest rise in homeownership costs. While the deterioration in affordability was felt to varying degrees across the country, it was mild in most cases.”He said the challenge will likely increase once the Bank of Canada begins raising interest rates.“Exceptionally low interest rates have been the key force in keeping affordability from hitting dangerous levels in Canada in recent years,” Wright said.“Affordability headwinds are likely to increase next year, as interest rates make their way towards more normal levels.”He said RBC expects Canada’s central bank will hike rates gradually, starting in the fourth quarter.“A gradual pace of increases will allow income growth to provide some offset,” he said.Andrew Barr/National Post read more

Human remains found in forest during search for missing Emma Faulds

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “On Wednesday, June 12, human remains were discovered in the Galloway Forest, Dumfries and Galloway.”She added: “The family of Emma Faulds has been made aware of this discovery and police inquiries are ongoing.”Last month, Ross Willox, 39, was charged with Miss Faulds’s murder. He made no plea and was remanded in custody. Police in Galloway Forest were human remains were foundCredit:Andrew Milligan/PA galloway forest Police searching for a missing 39-year-old woman have found human remains in a forest in Dumfries and Galloway.Emma Faulds was last seen on April 28 in Monkton, South Ayrshire, and police searches were originally focused along the A714 between Girvan and Newton Stewart.Remains were found during searches of Galloway Forest, an area of woodland in Dumfries and Galloway, and Ms Faulds’s family has been made aware.Officers previously appealed for information about two cars known to have been on the A714 around the time of her disappearance.Police became concerned that Miss Faulds, a youth worker from Kilmarnock, may have come to harm after she failed to contact her family, which was described as uncharacteristic, and made no arrangements for the care of her pet dogs. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more