New home prices in the Calgary region continued to rise in May, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency reported Thursday, in its New Housing Price Index, that prices in the Calgary census metropolitan area were up 0.3 per cent from April. Prices were also up 0.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
Nationally, the NHPI rose by 0.3 per cent and prices were up 2.4 per cent from May 2011.
“The metropolitan regions of Toronto and Oshawa, and Calgary were the top contributors to the increase in May. The impact of these regions on the overall index was slightly offset by the decrease observed in Victoria,” said Statistics Canada.
“In Toronto and Oshawa as well as in Calgary, the rise in prices was predominantly explained by market conditions.”
From April to May, the aggregated metropolitan regions of Sudbury and Thunder Bay (1.6 per cent) posted the largest monthly price advance, followed by Toronto and Oshawa and by Regina (both 0.5 per cent), said the federal agency.
The most significant monthly price declines were recorded in Victoria (0.8 per cent) and Charlottetown (0.4 per cent).
The largest year-over-year price increases were recorded in Toronto and Oshawa (5.5 per cent), Winnipeg (4.4 per cent) and Regina (4.3 per cent).
Among the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, three posted 12-month price declines in May, with Victoria (3.2 per cent) recording the largest decrease.
Earlier this week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said housing starts in the Calgary CMA totalled 1,184 units in June, compared with 719 units in June 2011. In the first half of the year, total housing starts in the Calgary CMA increased to 7,044 units, up 99.5 per cent from the 3,530 units for the same period last year.
“After six months, both single-detached and multi-family starts have risen from the previous year. Low mortgage rates, full-time employment gains, positive migration flows, and a more balanced resale market have contributed to the demand for new homes,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for the CMHC.
Single-detached starts increased 18 per cent to 531 units in June, up from 450 units in the previous year. To the end of June, single-detached starts in the Calgary CMA rose 20 per cent to 2,830 units from a year earlier. Multi-family starts, which include semi-detached units, rows, and apartments, totalled 653 units in June, up from 269 in June 2011. After six months, builders have started 4,214 multi-family units in the Calgary CMA, an increase from the 1,118 over the same period in 2011.
Also this week, the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast showed varied year-over-year resale house price increases in Calgary.
In the second quarter, detached bungalows posted the largest average year-over-year price increases, rising five per cent to $432,322. Prices for standard two-storey homes rose a modest 2.5 per cent year-over-year to $425,456. Standard condominiums declined slightly by 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $247,056.
“Despite the recent changes to mortgage lending rules, mortgage rates and packages still remain very attractive to buyers at all levels,” said Ted Zaharko, broker and owner of Royal LePage Foothills. “Market activity has increased approximately 30 per cent compared to the same period in 2011 and we are seeing every type of buyer making purchases.”
According to Royal LePage, by the end of 2012, average house prices in Calgary are expected to increase 6.5 per cent. Market activity is forecast to be the strongest in Canada with 2012 unit sales expected to rise 18.0 per cent higher than they were in 2011.
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