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The following is the text of the new house price index report for July released by Statistics Canada.
The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.1% in July, following a 0.2% increase in June.
The metropolitan region of Calgary was the top contributor to the advance. Some builders reported that increased material and labour costs were the main reason for higher prices.
The largest monthly price advance in July occurred in the metropolitan region of St. John’s (+0.6%), followed by St.·Catharines-Niagara and Halifax (both up 0.4%). In St. John’s and St. Catharines-Niagara, the increase was primarily the result of higher material and labour costs. In Halifax, the main reason for the advance was market conditions.
Prices were unchanged in 6 of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed in July. Monthly prices declined 0.3% in Windsor as a result of lower negotiated prices. Prices fell 0.2% in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo as well as Victoria, as some builders recorded lower negotiated selling prices.
On a year-over-year basis, the NHPI rose 2.3% in the 12 months to July, following a similar year-over-year increase the previous month. The main contributor to the advance was the combined metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa.
The largest year-over-year increases in contractors’ selling prices occurred in Regina (+4.7%), Toronto and Oshawa (+4.6%), and Winnipeg (+4.4%).
Other significant year-over-year increases occurred in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+3.3%) and Québec (+3.1%).
Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, 4 posted 12- month price declines in July. The largest decrease was in Victoria (-2.9%).
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.
The provincial government of British Columbia introduced legislation on May 14, 2012, announcing the return to a provincial sales tax on April 1, 2013. From April 1, 2012, until March 31, 2013, there are new housing transitional rebates in place. After the transition is complete, the provincial sales tax on building materials in British Columbia will be embedded in contractors’ selling prices of new houses. These changes will be reflected in the New Housing Price Index as reported by respondents.
The indexes are not subject to revision and not seasonally adjusted.
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