Canada's New Housing Price Index rose 0.3% in April, led by gains in Toronto and Oshawa, Ottawa-Gatineau

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Jun 9, 2011 – Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , June 9, 2011 () – The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.3% in April, following no change in March.

Between March and April, Toronto and Oshawa (+0.6%) as well as Ottawa–Gatineau (+1.3%) were the top contributors to the NHPI's upward movement. Both metropolitan regions registered the largest increases of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed.

In Ottawa–Gatineau, the rise in prices was primarily attributable to higher material and labour costs, while in Toronto and Oshawa, the price increases were mainly a result of competitive market conditions.

In April, prices remained unchanged in 7 of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed.

The most significant monthly price declines were in Victoria (-0.8%) and the metropolitan regions aggregation of Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton (-0.5%).

In Victoria, the decline was a result of builders lowering their prices to encourage sales. In Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, slower market conditions in April led builders to reduce their prices.

Year over year, the NHPI was up 1.9% in April following an identical increase in March. The main contributors to the increase in April were the metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa as well as Montréal.

The largest year-over-year price increase was in Regina (+5.2%), followed closely by St. John's (+5.0%).

Compared with April 2010, contractors' selling prices were also higher in Winnipeg (+4.2%) as well as in Toronto and Oshawa (+4.0%).

Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, 7 posted 12-month price declines in April, led by Windsor (-4.6%) and Victoria (-2.2%).

Note: 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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