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New Housing Price Index, February 2015

Released: 2015-04-09

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.2% in February, following a 0.1% decline 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 combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa was the top contributor to the increase, with prices up 0.3% over the previous month. Market conditions and new list prices were the main reasons behind the gain. This was moderated by some builders offering promotional packages to stimulate sales and by lower list prices.

The census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of Halifax and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo recorded the largest price increases in February (both up 0.4%).

The price gain in Halifax, the largest since July 2013, followed three months of no change. Builders in Halifax reported new list prices and higher land development costs as the main reasons for the advance. In Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, builders cited market conditions as the reason for the gain.

New home prices also increased in Montréal (+0.3%) and Edmonton (+0.2%) in February. Builders in both CMAs reported new list prices and higher costs for material and labour as the reasons for the rise. This was the largest increase in Montréal since August 2013.

Prices were unchanged in 9 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed.

Prices were unchanged in Ottawa–Gatineau following five consecutive months of price declines. Some builder reports of price increases due to market conditions, higher material and labour costs, new list prices, and city development fees, were offset by other builders offering promotional packages and lower list prices.

New housing prices remained unchanged in Calgary for the second straight month.

The CMAs of Regina and London (both down 0.3%) recorded the largest price decreases in February. Builders in Regina cited lower negotiated selling prices as the main reason for the decrease, the largest in that CMA since April 2014. In London, higher material and labour costs as well as new list prices were offset by bonus packages being offered to stimulate sales.

Prices declined 0.2% in the CMA of Québec. Although some builders reported higher material and labour costs, the increases were negated by builders who reported lower selling prices. This was the first decline in Québec in 13 months and the largest since March 2011.

New housing prices also fell in Hamilton, St. Catharines–Niagara and the combined region of Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay (all down 0.1%). This was the first price decline in Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay since July 2013, and the first in Hamilton since January 2014.

On a year-over-year basis, the NHPI rose 1.4% in February, following an identical increase in January.

The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa (+2.2%) was the top contributor to the annual growth followed closely by Calgary (+4.1%). This was the smallest annual price increase in Calgary since January 2013.

Other significant year-over-year increases were reported in Hamilton (+3.1%), London (+2.4%) and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+2.1%).

Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, 7 posted year-over-year price declines in February: Victoria (-1.5%), Ottawa–Gatineau (-1.4%), Charlottetown (-0.9%), Regina (-0.7%), Vancouver (-0.6%), the combined metropolitan region of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton (-0.4%) and Saskatoon (-0.2%).

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 houses and townhouses or row homes. The survey also collects contractors' estimates of the current value (evaluated at market price) of the land. These estimates are independently indexed to provide the published series for land. The residual (total selling price less land value), which mainly relates to the current cost of the structure, is also independently indexed and is presented as the estimated house series. The index is available at the Canada and provincial levels, and for 21 metropolitan areas.

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 14.

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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