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New Housing Price Index, January 2019

Released: 2019-03-14

New Housing Price Index — Canada

January 2019

-0.1% decrease

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — N.L.

January 2019

0.0%

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — P.E.I.

January 2019

0.0%

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — N.S.

January 2019

0.3% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — N.B.

January 2019

0.0%

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Que.

January 2019

0.1% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Ont.

January 2019

-0.1% decrease

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Man.

January 2019

0.2% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Sask.

January 2019

-0.1% decrease

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Alta.

January 2019

-0.1% decrease

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — B.C.

January 2019

-0.1% decrease

(monthly change)

Canadian new housing prices fell in January for the first time since February 2018.

Chart 1  Chart 1: New Housing Price Index
New Housing Price Index

New Housing Price Index, monthly change

The national index declined 0.1% in January, following five consecutive months of unchanged prices. Mortgage rate increases in 2018, along with tighter mortgage regulations, likely contributed to the flatness observed across Canada.

Buyers in Saskatoon (-0.3%) recorded the largest decrease in January, which was the result of lower negotiated selling prices for new homes.

Four of the largest new housing markets in the country reported declines in January, ranging from decreases of 0.1% in Vancouver and Edmonton to declines of 0.2% in Toronto and Calgary. Builders in all four census metropolitan areas (CMAs) tied the decreases to lower negotiated selling prices and unfavourable market conditions.

Eight CMAs reported gains in January. Halifax and Trois-Rivières posted the largest increases, both up 0.3% as a result of higher construction costs.

Chart 2  Chart 2: New housing prices at the national level fall for the first time since February 2018
New housing prices at the national level fall for the first time since February 2018

New Housing Price Index, 12-month change

New housing prices at the national level edged down 0.1% year over year in January, the first 12-month decline in more than nine years.

Regina recorded the largest decrease (-3.0%) among the 11 CMAs that reported 12-month declines. New home prices in Regina have been steadily decreasing for the past year.

Declines in Canada's largest new housing markets

In January, prices fell year over year in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. These four CMAs combined represent 60% of the weight of the national index.

Toronto

In the years prior to the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan (April 2017), Canada's largest CMA, Toronto, recorded strong price appreciation. The plan included a 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax, as well as other measures aimed at cooling the housing market in Ontario.

After the introduction of the plan, price growth slowed in Toronto, with prices starting to decline year over year in April 2018. By January 2019, new home prices were down 1.5% on a 12-month basis.

Calgary and Edmonton

Alberta's largest CMAs recorded weak housing markets throughout 2018, with builders linking the declines to poor market conditions. As a result, new home prices in January 2019 were down 1.1% in Calgary and down 0.5% in Edmonton.

The pace of new home construction also slowed in both CMAs in 2018. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, single-family housing starts fell 10.1% in Calgary and 4.3% in Edmonton compared with 2017. Single-family homes include row, single and semi-detached houses.

Vancouver

Year-over-year price gains in the historically expensive CMA of Vancouver peaked at 9.1% in February 2018. That same month, in an attempt to help stabilize housing prices, the government of British Columbia announced measures to address housing affordability in a comprehensive housing plan. This initiative included increasing the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% and expanding its coverage to other regions of the province.

Since then, year-over-year price movements have slowed in Vancouver, going from an increase of 9.1% in February 2018 to a 0.3% decline in January 2019.

Continued growth in the more affordable housing markets of Ottawa and London

Ottawa (+5.2%) and London (+3.2%) led the country for an eighth consecutive month, posting the largest 12-month gains in January. Favourable market conditions as well as higher construction costs in the last 12 months contributed to year-over-year price increases in both CMAs.


  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 survey covers the following dwelling types: single dwellings, semi-detached houses and townhouses or row homes. The current value of the structure is independently indexed and is presented as the house series. 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 index is available at the Canada and provincial levels, and for 27 census 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 provincial harmonized sales tax.

The index is not subject to revision and is not seasonally adjusted.

Products

Statistics Canada has a new Housing Market Indicators Dashboard. This web application provides access to key housing market indicators for Canada, by province and by census metropolitan area. These indicators are automatically updated with new information from monthly releases, giving users access to the latest data.

A data table highlighting changes in new home prices in Canada and select census metropolitan areas is available as part of the Just the Facts series.

Next release

The New Housing Price Index for February will be released on April 11.

Products

The dashboard "Housing Market Indicators" is now available.

Contact information

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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