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New Housing Price Index, March 2020

Released: 2020-04-22

New Housing Price Index — Canada

March 2020

0.3% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — N.L.

March 2020

-0.2% decrease

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — P.E.I.

March 2020

0.0%

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — N.S.

March 2020

0.2% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — N.B.

March 2020

0.3% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Que.

March 2020

0.5% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Ont.

March 2020

0.4% increase

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Man.

March 2020

0.0%

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Sask.

March 2020

-0.2% decrease

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — Alta.

March 2020

0.0%

(monthly change)

New Housing Price Index — B.C.

March 2020

0.4% increase

(monthly change)

New home prices were up 0.3% at the national level in March.

Impact of COVID-19 on new house prices in March

COVID-19 had no known impact on new house prices in March, as the outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11, toward the end of the reference period for the New Housing Price Survey. Builders across the country were still operating normally and all of their home sales centres were open during the reference period (February 16 to March 15).

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

New Housing Price Index, monthly change

In March, new house prices rose month over month in 13 of the 27 census metropolitan areas. Builders in Ottawa (+1.2%), Montréal (+0.7%) and Guelph (+0.7%) reported the largest gains, citing favourable market conditions and higher construction costs.

New house prices declined the most in Oshawa (-0.6%) and Regina (-0.3%) in March.

Chart 2  Chart 2: New house prices are up 0.3% at the national level
New house prices are up 0.3% at the national level

New Housing Price Index, 12-month change

At the national level, new house prices increased 0.9% year over year in March, marking a fourth consecutive rise.

For the ninth month in a row, the largest year-over-year price increases occurred in Ottawa (+10.7%) and Montréal (+8.3%).

In March, new house prices fell the most year over year in Regina (-4.2%) and Calgary (-2.0%). Annual price movements have been negative since February 2018 in Regina and since July 2018 in Calgary.

Outlook for New Housing Price Index during COVID-19

We anticipate that, in the short term, the impacts on the new housing market will not be as pronounced as the ones expected on the resale market. New homes are purchased predominantly one to three years in advance of the closing date. In most instances, the transaction occurs before the construction even begins. In the short term, we expect little or no change in new house prices, especially for the markets where the demand was already high prior to COVID-19. The hot housing markets, where the inventory of available homes is low, will fare better than already weak markets, where supply is abundant but demand is worsening.


  Note to readers

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) measures changes over time in the selling prices of new residential houses. The prices are those agreed upon by the contractor and the buyer at the time of the signing of the contract. The detailed specifications pertaining to each new 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 provincial harmonized sales tax.

The survey covers the following dwelling types: singles, semi-detached and townhouses or row homes. The index is available at the Canada and provincial levels, and for 27 census metropolitan areas.

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

In addition to this monthly release, the NHPI has also been integrated into the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI). The RPPI is a quarterly series that measures changes over time in the prices of residential properties for Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. An aggregate for these six census metropolitan areas (CMAs) is also available. The RPPI provides a price index for all components of the housing real estate market—new and resale—and a breakdown between houses and condominium apartments.

Products

The interactive NHPI dashboard, which allows users to visualize statistics on new housing prices, is available.

The Housing Market Indicators Dashboard, which provides access to key housing market indicators for Canada, by province and by CMA, is also available.

For more information on the topic of housing, visit the Housing Statistics Portal.

The video "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 compiled and what they are used for.

Statistics Canada has launched the Producer Price Indexes Portal as part of a suite of portals for prices and price indexes. This webpage provides users with a single point of access to a wide variety of statistics and measures related to producer prices.

Next release

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) for April will be released on May 21.

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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