New Housing Price Index, February 2016
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The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.2% in February, following a 0.1% increase in January. The advance was led by higher new home prices in Ontario and British Columbia.
Of the metropolitan areas covered by the index, the combined region of Toronto and Oshawa (+0.4%) and Vancouver (+0.8%) were the top contributors to the national increase in February. Builders in both regions cited new list prices and market conditions as the main reasons for the advance. This was the largest monthly price increase in Vancouver since September 2009.
Charlottetown (+1.2%) recorded the largest monthly price gain in February. Builders reported higher material costs as the primary reason for the increase—the largest since July 2011.
Other significant gains were observed in Hamilton (+0.5%), St. Catharines–Niagara (+0.4%), London (+0.3%), Montréal (+0.3%), Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+0.2%) and Victoria (+0.2%). Builders reported higher material costs as the primary reason for the increases in Hamilton, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, London and Montréal. Builders in St. Catharines–Niagara and Victoria cited market conditions as the driving force behind the increases.
Prices were unchanged in 9 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, including Ottawa–Gatineau and Regina. In Ottawa–Gatineau, higher material costs and new list prices were offset by declines attributable to market conditions. In Regina, land prices were up as a result of new city service fees and development charges, but the gains were offset by lower negotiated selling prices.
New housing prices fell in Calgary (-0.5%) and Saskatoon (-0.2%). Builders in Calgary reported market conditions as the main reason for the decrease—the largest since July 2011. In Saskatoon, builders cited lower negotiated selling prices as the primary reason for the decline.
New Housing Price Index, 12-month change
The NHPI increased 1.8% over the 12-month period ending in February, following an identical increase in January.
The combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa (+4.4%) was the top contributor to the gain, recording the largest year-over-year price increase in February.
Other notable gains were observed in Vancouver (+4.0%), Hamilton (+3.4%) and Victoria (+0.2%). This was the first year-over-year increase in Victoria since September 2008 and the largest since April of that same year.
Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, 5 posted year-over-year price declines in February: Saskatoon (-1.9%), Calgary (-1.3%), Regina (-0.7%), Québec (-0.7%) and Ottawa–Gatineau (-0.1%).
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 national and provincial levels, and 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.
The NHPI for March will be released on May 12.
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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