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New Housing Price Index, February 2014

Released: 2014-04-10

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.2% in February, following a 0.3% increase in January.

Chart 1  Chart 1: New Housing Price Index - Description and data table
New Housing Price Index

Chart 1: New Housing Price Index - Description and data table

The metropolitan region of Calgary was the top contributor to the February gain, with prices up 0.9% over the previous month. Builders reported that higher material and labour costs, market conditions and the implementation of the new home warranty program in Alberta were the primary reasons for the increase.

New housing prices were up in all Ontario metropolitan areas surveyed, except in the combined region of Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Prices in that region were unchanged for the sixth consecutive month.

St. Catharines–Niagara reported the largest monthly price increase in February, with prices rising 1.3%. This was the biggest increase in the region since November 2009. Builders cited that higher material and labour costs as well as market conditions were responsible for the gain.

New home prices rose 0.7% in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo following two consecutive months of decline, while prices were up 0.6% in Windsor. According to builders, higher material and labour costs were responsible for the increases in both regions.

Two metropolitan areas, both in the Atlantic region, reported price decreases. Prices were down 0.4% in Charlottetown, as builders reported lowering prices on inventory homes to generate sales. This was the largest decrease in Charlottetown since December 2012.

New housing prices fell 0.1% in Halifax. Price changes in the region have been fluctuating between 0.0% and a decline of 0.1% for the past five months.

Prices were unchanged in 7 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed in February.

On a year-over-year basis, the NHPI rose 1.5% in February, following an identical increase in January.

The two main contributors to the annual advance were Calgary (+6.9%) and the combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa (+1.7%). The year-over-year increase in Toronto and Oshawa was the largest since September 2013.

Compared with the same month last year, new housing prices were up 3.5% in Saskatoon and 3.4% in St. Catharines–Niagara. Annual prices in St. Catharines–Niagara have been increasing since November 2011.

Other significant year-over-year increases occurred in Hamilton (+2.7%) and Winnipeg (+2.6%).

Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, 4 posted 12-month price declines in February: Vancouver (-1.2%), Ottawa–Gatineau (-0.9%), Victoria (-0.8%) and Edmonton (-0.1%). This was the third consecutive month of annual declines in Edmonton. Annual prices in Ottawa–Gatineau have been decreasing since August 2013.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Calgary posts the largest year-over-year price increase - Description and data table
Calgary posts the largest year-over-year price increase

Chart 2: Calgary posts the largest year-over-year price increase - Description and data table

  Note to readers

The New Housing Price Index measures changes over time in the selling prices of new residential houses agreed upon between the contractor and the buyer at the time of the signing of the contract. It is designed to measure the changes in the selling prices of new houses where detailed specifications pertaining to each house remain the same between two consecutive periods. The survey covers the following dwelling types: single dwellings, semi-detached and row houses (town house or garden home). The prices collected from builders and included in the index are market selling prices less value added taxes, such as the Federal Goods and Services Tax or the Harmonized Sales Tax.

The index is not subject to revision and is not seasonally adjusted.

The New Housing Price Index for March will be released on May 8.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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