New Housing Price Index, January 2016

Ottawa - The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.1% in January, following an identical increase in December. The advance was led by higher new home prices in Vancouver and the combined region of Toronto and Oshawa. The increase was largely moderated by lower or unchanged prices in two-thirds of the metropolitan areas.

Of the metropolitan areas covered by the index, Vancouver (+0.4%) was the top contributor to the national increase in January, while London (+0.5%) recorded the largest monthly price gain.

Builders in Vancouver cited new list prices and market conditions as the main reasons for the advance. New home prices in Vancouver have been rising for eight straight months. In London, builders reported increased material and labour costs as well as higher development costs. This was the largest monthly price increase in London since December 2014.

The combined region of Toronto and Oshawa recorded a 0.2% price increase in January. Builders reported new list prices and market conditions as the main reasons for the gain. Prices in the region have been increasing for 12 consecutive months.

New housing prices rose 0.2% in St. Catharines–Niagara and Regina. Builders in St. Catharines–Niagara cited a reduction in the value of promotional packages as the reason for the increase, while builders in Regina reported they were no longer offering promotional packages to stimulate sales.

Prices were unchanged in 12 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, including Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa–Gatineau, Montréal and Halifax.

New housing prices fell 0.3% in Saskatoon and 0.2% in the combined region of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton. Builders in both areas reported lower negotiated selling prices as the main reason for the decline. This was the largest monthly price decrease in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton since March 2015. Prices have been declining in Saskatoon for five consecutive months.

New Housing Price Index, 12-month change

The NHPI increased 1.8% over the 12-month period ending in January, the largest year-over-year increase at the national level since August 2013.

The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa (+4.4%) was the top contributor, recording the largest year-over-year price increase in January.

Other notable gains were observed in Vancouver (+3.1%) and Hamilton (+2.8%). This was the largest year-over-year increase in Vancouver since August 2010.

Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, 6 posted year-over-year price declines in January: Saskatoon (-1.6%), Regina (-1.0%), Calgary (-0.9%), Québec (-0.9%), Ottawa–Gatineau (-0.1%) and Charlottetown (-0.1%).

New housing prices were unchanged in Victoria compared with the same month last year. However, year over year, prices have been declining in Victoria since September 2008.

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