New house prices in Canada unchanged in February

Thursday, 11 April 2019 20:00:35 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to Statistics Canada, new house prices at the national level were unchanged in February, despite growth in some of the housing markets surveyed.

In February, builders in 9 of the 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed reported higher prices for homes they sold. London and Windsor (both up 0.6 percent) registered the largest increases as builders in both CMAs tied the gains primarily to higher construction costs. New home prices have been up almost every month in London since November 2017. Builders have largely linked the increases to strong market conditions.

Four of Canada's largest new housing markets experienced slowing demand, as builders reported flat prices in Toronto and Calgary, and declining prices in Vancouver (-0.3 percent) and Edmonton (-0.1 percent) in February.

New house prices have decreased for four months in a row in Vancouver as builders linked the decline, in large part, to unfavorable market conditions. The pace of new construction has also slowed in this CMA. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, single-family housing starts declined 20.7 percent over the 12 months ending in February compared with the same period in 2018. Single-family homes include single, semi-detached and row houses.

New house prices at the national level edged up 0.1 percent year over year in February. For the ninth month in a row, home prices in the historically more affordable CMAs of Ottawa (+4.9 percent) and London (+3.4 percent) rose faster than in other CMAs surveyed.

Regina recorded the largest decrease (-2.8 percent) among the 11 CMAs that reported 12-month declines. New home prices in Regina have been decreasing steadily for the past year.

In February, annual price movements also declined in Toronto (-1.0 percent), Calgary (-0.8 percent), Vancouver (-0.6 percent) and Edmonton (-0.4 percent). These four CMAs combined represent 60 percent of the weight of the national index.

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