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Canada February New House Price Index Report (Text)

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- The following is the text of the new house price index report for February released by Statistics Canada.

The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.3% in February, following a 0.1% increase in January.

The metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa was the top contributor to the increase in February. The positive impact of this region on the overall index was slightly offset by the decrease observed in Vancouver.

From January to February, Regina (+2.4%) posted the largest monthly price advance, followed by Halifax (+1.2%) and St. Catharines-Niagara (+1.1%).

In Regina, price increases were primarily the result of higher land development costs as well as increased material and labour costs.

In Halifax and St. Catharines-Niagara, the rise in prices was predominantly explained by higher material and labour costs.

In February, prices were unchanged in 5 of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed.

The most significant monthly price declines were recorded in Charlottetown (-0.5%) and Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton (-0.4%).

Builders in Charlottetown reported lower negotiated selling prices in February, while those in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton reduced their prices to stimulate sales as a result of slower market conditions.

Year over year, the NHPI was up 2.3% in February, following a 2.4% increase the previous month. The main contributor to the advance was the metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa.

The largest year-over-year price increases were recorded in Regina (+5.9%), Toronto and Oshawa (+5.8%) and Winnipeg (+3.8%).

Other notable year-over-year increases in contractors’ selling prices were observed in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+2.7%) and Ottawa-Gatineau (+2.6%).

Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, 3 posted 12-month price declines in February, with Victoria (-2.4%) posting the largest decrease.

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 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.

SOURCE: Statistics Canada {WEB STCA <GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilan Kolet in Ottawa at ikolet@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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