Experimental New Condominium Apartment Price Index, first quarter 2019
First quarter 2019
Prices for new condominium apartments for the six census metropolitan area (CMA) composite rose at a slower pace in the first quarter (+0.7%) compared with the fourth quarter of 2018 (+2.3%). Continued strength in the Vancouver market was moderated by slower growth in Toronto and Victoria.
New condominium apartment markets cool in Toronto and Victoria
Prices continued to rise in Toronto (+1.1%) and Victoria (+0.5%) in the first quarter, but at a slower pace than in previous quarters. This was the lowest growth rate in Toronto since the second quarter of 2018 and the lowest in Victoria since the start of the index in 2017.
The cooling new condominium apartment market in Toronto was also reflected by the fewest apartment and other unit type starts in two years, as reported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Apartment building construction costs in Toronto edged down 0.1% in the first quarter, as measured by the Building Construction Price Index.
The new condominium market in Vancouver (+2.5%) rose for the third consecutive quarter. The continuing strength of the Vancouver market was also reflected by higher apartment building construction costs, according to the Building Construction Price Index.
Prices for new condominium apartments in Ottawa rose 2.4% in the first quarter, following a 1.5% decline in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Prices rise nationally year over year, despite sharp declines in Calgary and Montréal
New condominium apartment prices for the six-CMA composite rose 5.5% over the 12-month period ending in the first quarter. Annual growth in the six-CMA composite index was primarily driven by Vancouver (+9.0%) and Toronto (+5.2%). The composite index has risen for five consecutive quarters year over year.
The year over year experimental price index for Calgary (-15.8%) continued to decline. A high number of completed and unsold condominium apartments continue to be observed in this CMA, according to the CMHC.
Montréal (-5.5%) reported its largest year over year price decrease since the start of the series in 2017. Despite higher construction costs in the first quarter, 18.6% fewer new apartment units were sold in this CMA year over year, while apartment and other unit type starts were down 1.8%, according to the CMHC.
Note to readers
The Experimental New Condominium Apartment Price Index (NCAPI) is a quarterly series that measures changes over time in the contractors' selling prices of units in new condominium apartment buildings, where detailed specifications pertaining to each unit remain comparable between two consecutive periods. The index is available for six census metropolitan areas (CMAs): Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria, as well as for a six-CMA composite.
The index methods and data sources continue to be explored and tested in order to increase the sample size, particularly in Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria; to enhance the questionnaire to more accurately capture premiums and discounts for various quality characteristics; and to refine the editing, imputation and hedonic modelling processes. For these reasons, the indexes are considered experimental at this time.
Data for the fourth quarter of 2018 have been revised. The index is not seasonally adjusted.
A video entitled "Producer Price Indexes" is available on the Statistics Canada Training Institute webpage. It provides an introduction to Statistics Canada's Producer Price Indexes—what they are, how they are made and what they are used for.
Next NCAPI release
Second quarter 2019 data for the Experimental NCAPI will be released on September 11.
For more information, consult the article "Explore new experimental data on residential property prices," now available in the StatCan Blog.
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).