The following is the text of the new house price index report for March released by Statistics Canada.
The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.3% in March, following a similar increase in February.
The metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa, Edmonton, and Calgary were the top contributors to the increase in March. The positive impact of these regions on the overall index was slightly offset by the decreases observed in Vancouver and Victoria.
In Toronto and Oshawa, the rise in prices was predominantly explained by good market conditions and increased demand.
In Edmonton, builders reported increased material and labour costs and in Calgary, improving market conditions were given as a reason for the increase.
From February to March, Winnipeg (+0.7%) posted the largest monthly price advance, followed by Toronto and Oshawa (+0.6%).
In Winnipeg, price increases were primarily the result of higher land development costs as well as increased material and labour costs.
Other notable increases were observed in Québec and Ottawa- Gatineau (both +0.5%).
In March, prices were unchanged in 7 of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed.
The most significant monthly price decline was recorded in Victoria (-0.7%), as builders reduced their prices as a result of competitive market conditions.
Year over year, the NHPI was up 2.6%, following a 2.3% increase the previous month. The main contributor to the advance was the metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa.
The largest year-over-year price increases were recorded in Toronto and Oshawa (+6.2%), Regina (+5.7%) and Winnipeg (+4.2%).
Other significant year-over-year increases in contractors’ selling prices were observed in Québec (+3.1%) and Ottawa- Gatineau (+3.0%).
Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, 4 posted 12- month price declines in March, with Victoria (-3.0%) posting the largest decrease.
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 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.
This release presents data that are not seasonally adjusted and the indexes published are final.
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