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New Housing Price Index, May 2015

Released: 2015-07-09

New Housing Price Index

May 2015

0.2% 

(monthly change)

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.2% in May, following a 0.1% increase in April. Gains in Ontario and Saskatchewan were moderated by declines in Quebec.

Chart 1  Chart 1: New Housing Price Index
New Housing Price Index

The combined region of Toronto and Oshawa (+0.5%) was the top contributor, recording the largest monthly price advance among the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) covered by the survey. Builders reported market conditions and higher land development costs as the primary reasons behind the gain, the largest in the region since April 2014.

The CMAs of Hamilton and Saskatoon both recorded 0.4% price increases in May. According to builders in Hamilton, higher land development costs contributed to the gain. Builders in Saskatoon cited market conditions as the main reason for the price increase.

New home prices also increased in Windsor (+0.3%), following six straight months of no change. Builders reported market conditions as the main reason for the rise in May.

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

The CMA of Québec recorded the largest price decrease (-0.6%) in May. Builders cited lower list prices to stimulate sales as well as lower negotiated selling prices as the main reasons for the decline. This was the largest monthly price decrease in that CMA since March 2011.

Charlottetown recorded a 0.2% decline in new housing prices, following two consecutive months of increases. Builders cited market conditions as the main reason for the decrease.

On a year-over-year basis, the NHPI rose 1.2% in May, up slightly from the 1.1% increase in April.

The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa was the top contributor to the annual growth in May, with prices up 2.7% compared with the same month a year earlier.

The CMA of Hamilton recorded the largest annual price increase in May, with prices up 3.1% compared with the same month last year.

Other notable year-over-year increases were observed in Calgary (+0.9%), Vancouver (+0.6%) and Saskatoon (+0.2%). This was the smallest annual increase in Calgary since February 2012 and the largest gain in Vancouver since February 2010. The annual advance in Saskatoon was the smallest since October 2011 and the first this year.

Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, 6 posted year-over-year price declines in May: Regina (-1.8%), Victoria (-1.5%), Ottawa–Gatineau (-1.1%), the combined metropolitan region of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton (-0.8%), as well as Montréal and Québec (both down 0.2%). This was the largest annual price decrease in Québec since November 1998.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Hamilton posts the largest year-over-year price increase
Hamilton posts the largest year-over-year price increase


  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 June will be released on August 13.

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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