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New Housing Price Index, April 2015

Released: 2015-06-11

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.1% in April, following no change in March.

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 region of Toronto and Oshawa (+0.2%) and the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver (+0.6%) were the top contributors to the price increase in April.

Builders in Toronto and Oshawa cited higher material and labour costs as well as market conditions as the primary reasons behind the gain. According to builders in Vancouver, higher new home prices were mainly due to new list prices and market conditions. This was the largest price increase in Vancouver since March 2010.

Charlottetown (+1.0%) recorded the largest monthly price increase in April. Builders reported market conditions and higher land development costs as the main reasons for the gain. This was the largest gain in that CMA since January 2013 and the second monthly price increase in a row.

The CMAs of St. Catharines–Niagara, Winnipeg and Saskatoon all recorded price increases of 0.1% in April. The price gain in Saskatoon was the first in eight months.

Prices were unchanged in 8 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed.

The CMA of Regina recorded the largest price decrease (-1.3%) in April. Builders cited current market conditions and promotional pricing to encourage sales as the main reasons for the decline. This was the largest monthly price decrease in that CMA since May 1984.

For the second consecutive month, the CMA of Calgary recorded a 0.4% decline. Some builders reduced their prices to stimulate sales, while others reported lower negotiated selling prices in April. Lower negotiated selling prices also resulted in price declines in both London (-0.3%) and Victoria (-0.2%).

On a year-over-year basis, the NHPI rose 1.1% in April, the smallest annual increase since February 2010.

The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa was the top contributor to the annual growth with prices up 2.2% from the same month last year.

The CMA of Hamilton recorded the largest annual price increase in April, with prices up 3.0% from the same month last year. Other significant year-over-year increases were reported in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+2.1%), London (+2.0%) and Calgary (+1.8%).

Year-over-year increases were also observed in Charlottetown (+0.8%) and Vancouver (+0.4%). This was the largest annual increase in Charlottetown since December 2013 and the first in Vancouver since September 2011.

Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, 5 posted year-over-year price declines in April: Regina (-1.6%), Victoria (-1.5%), Ottawa–Gatineau (-1.3%), the combined metropolitan region of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton (-0.7%) as well as Saskatoon (-0.2%).

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

Chart 2: Hamilton 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 May will be released on July 9.

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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