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When it comes to Canadian homeowners’ outlooks on housing affordability, a new survey suggests there’s at least one factor that has considerable influence: location, location, location.

While 38 per cent of homeowners think real estate in their area is unaffordable opinions differ substantially from region to region, according to Manulife Bank of Canada’s Debt Survey.

For instance, some 83 per cent of respondents living in Atlantic Canada think housing is affordable, the highest percentage seen among all regions. The lowest percentage of homeowners in any province who share this view was seen in British Columbia, where only 39 per cent called housing affordable.

Living in a large urban area also appears to have an impact on homeowners’ perceptions. The chances of those whose dwellings are in Canada’s major urban centres — Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal — calling housing affordable are lower than what was seen in the rest of Canada.

Some 46 per cent of respondents who lived in these cities described housing as affordable, compared to 68 per cent of those surveyed across the rest of the country.

Vancouverites were the least likely find housing affordable. Thirty-three per cent of these homeowners thought housing was affordable in their area.

Across the board, 28 per cent of homeowners surveyed identified real estate in their area as “somewhat unaffordable,” and 11 per cent said it was “not affordable at all.” A majority of respondents (51 per cent) said their local real estate market was “somewhat affordable,” while 10 per cent called it “very affordable.”

It appears the outlook for many won’t improve over the next year, as 63 per cent of homeowners think prices in their market will climb in 2016. Just seven per cent are predicting prices to go down.

Here, too, location seems to play a part. Nineteen per cent of respondents living in the Prairie provinces expect home prices to drop off in the next 12 months, compared to three per cent of Ontarians and four per cent of BC residents.

The Manulife survey was based on the responses of about 2,400 Canadian homeowners aged 20 to 59 who declared household incomes of at least $50,000.

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