Calgary top contributor in national advance for new home prices – New Housing Price Index rises by 0.5%

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that its New Housing Price Index rose by 0.5 per cent in Calgary for the month and by 0.2 per cent across the country.

“Builders reported that higher material and labour costs as well as market conditions were the main reasons for higher prices” in Calgary, said the federal agency.

Nationally the index rose following a 0.1 per cent increase in March and similar gains over the past 12 months.

The biggest monthly price advance was in St. John’s (one per cent), following eight consecutive months of little or no price change, said Statistics Canada.

New housing prices were also up in Hamilton (0.8 per cent), Winnipeg (0.6 per cent) and Saskatoon (0.3 per cent).

On a year-over-year basis, the NHPI rose two per cent in the 12 months to April, following a similar increase the previous month, added the federal agency.

The main contributor to the advance was the combined region of Toronto and Oshawa, where the year-over-year increase in contractors’ selling prices was 2.9 per cent.

For the fifth consecutive month, Winnipeg recorded the largest year-over-year price movement in Canada. Prices were up 5.5 per cent in April following a 5.1 per cent advance in March. Other significant year-over-year increases occurred in Calgary (4.7 per cent), Regina (3.1 per cent) and Hamilton (2.8 per cent). In Calgary, annual price gains have been generally accelerating throughout 2012 and 2013, said Statistics Canada.

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Calgary house price growth best in Canada

Calgary experienced the best monthly growth rate in house prices in May for repeat home sales across the country, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index said prices in Calgary were up 2.3 per cent from the previous month.

“The decline in active listings has played a part in the rise in prices. Homes on average are taking less time to sell compared to 2012, and a number of homes are also receiving multiple offers,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Nationally, prices rose by 1.1 per cent in the 11 markets surveyed. It was the ninth time in the 15 years of index data collection that May prices were up 1.0 per cent or more from the month before. The previous occurrences were in 2002, in 2004 through 2007 and in 2010 through 2012, it said.

The May monthly gain was one per cent or more in seven of the 11 markets surveyed led by Calgary. They also included Edmonton (1.9 per cent), Hamilton (1.4 per cent), Montreal and Winnipeg (1.2 per cent), Ottawa-Gatineau (1.1 per cent) and Toronto (1.0 per cent). Lesser monthly increases were recorded in Quebec City (0.8 per cent) and Vancouver (0.7 per cent). Prices were flat in Halifax and down from the month before in Victoria (0.8 per cent).

The index is estimated by tracking observed or registered home prices over time using data collected from public land registries. All dwellings that have been sold at least twice are considered in the calculation of the index.

On a yearly basis, prices in Calgary rose by 5.8 per cent — the second highest in the country behind Quebec City’s 6.5 per cent.

“In annual terms, house price growth in Calgary has continued to accelerate, reaching a three-year high of 5.8 per cent, as the city recovers from its recent housing downturn,” said Amna Asaf, economist with Capital Economics. “With the months supply of inventory trending lower in the province of Alberta as a whole, we suspect house prices in Calgary will continue to edge higher.”

At the national level, for a second consecutive month, the index was up 2.0 per cent from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month increase since November 2009.

“By way of comparison, the Case-Shiller home price index of 20 U.S. metropolitan markets was up 10.9 per cent from a year earlier in March,” said the report.

In Canada, the price gain over the 12 months ending in May exceeded the cross-country average in seven of the 11 markets surveyed for the national composite index. Besides Calgary and Quebec City, prices were up in Hamilton (5.8 per cent), Winnipeg (4.6 per cent), Edmonton (4.0 per cent), Toronto (3.9 per cent) and Halifax (2.3 per cent). The 12-month increase matched the average in Ottawa-Gatineau (2.0 per cent) and lagged it in Montreal (1.9 per cent). Prices were down from a year earlier in Victoria (4.1 per cent) and Vancouver (3.2 per cent). For Vancouver it was the 10th straight month of 12-month deflation.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald