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New Housing Price Index, December 2015

Released: 2016-02-11

New Housing Price Index

December 2015

0.1% 

(monthly change)

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) edged up 0.1% in December, following a 0.2% increase in November. The advance was led by higher new home prices in Ontario and British Columbia. December marked the second consecutive month of slowing price gains.

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

The combined region of Toronto and Oshawa (+0.2%) was the top contributor to the national gain in December, while St. Catharines–Niagara recorded the largest monthly price increase (+0.9%).

Builders in both areas cited new list prices and market conditions as the main reasons for the advance. This was the second consecutive monthly price increase in St. Catharines–Niagara and the largest since February 2014. New home prices in Toronto and Oshawa have risen for 11 straight months.

New housing prices rose 0.4% in Regina, marking the largest increase in that census metropolitan area (CMA) since May 2014. Builders attributed the gain to new city service fees and development charges.

Following two months of no change, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo recorded a 0.3% price increase in December. Builders reported that market conditions were the primary reason for the gain.

Vancouver and Halifax both recorded price increases of 0.2% in December. Builders in both CMAs reported that new list prices were the primary reason for the advance. New housing prices in Vancouver have increased for seven consecutive months.

Prices were unchanged in 11 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed.

Builders in Alberta reported no change in new home prices in December. Prices in both Calgary and Edmonton have been generally flat or decreasing throughout the year as a result of market conditions.

New housing prices fell 0.2% in the combined region of Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Builders reported lower negotiated selling prices as the main reason for the decline. This was the largest monthly price decrease in Sudbury and Thunder Bay since July 2013.

Prices declined 0.1% in both Montréal and Saskatoon. Builders in Montréal lowered their prices and offered promotions to stimulate sales, while in Saskatoon, builders reported lower negotiated selling prices.

New Housing Price Index, 12-month change

The NHPI increased 1.6% over the 12-month period ending in December, following an identical increase in November.

Chart 2  Chart 2: The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa posts the highest year-over-year price increase
The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa posts the highest year-over-year price increase

Compared with the same month in 2014, Ontario (+3.1%), British Columbia (+2.3%), Quebec (+0.7%) and the Atlantic region (+0.4%) all posted price gains in December, while the Prairie region (-0.4%) recorded the lone decrease.

In Ontario, the combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa (+4.1%) was the top contributor to the national increase, recording the largest year-over-year price gain in December. Other notable increases were observed in Hamilton (+2.8%) and St. Catharines–Niagara (+2.1%). This was the largest year-over-year advance in St. Catharines–Niagara since October 2014.

Ottawa–Gatineau was down 0.4% in the 12 months to December.

In British Columbia, the year-over-year price increase in Vancouver (+2.6%) was moderated by a decline in Victoria (-0.5%). This was the largest 12-month advance in British Columbia since August 2010.

In Quebec, the year-over-year price increase in Montréal (+1.1%) was partially offset by a decrease in the CMA of Québec (-0.9%).

The Atlantic region recorded year-over-year increases in Halifax (+0.5%) and the combined region of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton (+0.5%), as well as in the CMA of St. John's (+0.4%). Charlottetown recorded a 0.1% decrease in the 12 months to December.

In the Prairie region, Saskatoon (-1.3%), Regina (-1.2%) and Calgary (-0.9%) all posted 12-month price declines in December. This was the largest year-over-year decrease in Calgary since December 2009. Year over year, price increases for new homes in the Prairie region slowed steadily in the first eight months of the year and were followed by four consecutive declines.


  Note to readers

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) 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 as well as 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.

Next release

The NHPI for January will be released on March 10.

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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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