The following is the text of the new house price index report for April released by Statistics Canada.
The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) rose 0.2% in April, following a 0.3% increase in March.
The metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa and of Edmonton were the top contributors to the increase in April.
In Toronto and Oshawa, the rise in prices was predominantly explained by good market conditions.
In Edmonton, builders returned to list prices after reporting promotional pricing and lower negotiated selling prices in previous months.
From March to April, Saskatoon (+0.8%) posted the largest monthly price advance, followed by London (+0.6%) and Hamilton (+0.4%).
In Saskatoon, price increases were primarily the result of higher land prices.
Higher material and labour costs were the main reason for price increases in London and Hamilton.
In April, prices were unchanged in 7 of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed.
Monthly price declines were recorded in St. John’s, St. Catharines-Niagara and Windsor (all -0.1%).
Year over year, the NHPI was up 2.5% in April, following a 2.6% 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 Toronto and Oshawa (+5.9%), Regina (+5.6%) and Winnipeg (+4.3%).
Other significant year-over-year increases in contractors’ selling prices were observed in Québec (+3.2%) and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+2.9%).
Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, 3 posted 12-month price declines in April, with Victoria (-2.3%) posting the largest decrease.
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 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 provincial government of British Columbia introduced legislation on May 14, 2012, announcing the return to a Provincial Sales Tax on April 1, 2013. From April·1, 2012, until March 31, 2013, there are new housing transitional rebates in place. After the transition is complete, the Provincial Sales Tax on building materials in British Columbia will be embedded in the contractor’s selling prices of new houses. These changes will be reflected in the NHPI as reported by respondents.
This release presents data that are not seasonally adjusted and the indexes published are final.