New house prices in both Calgary and Edmonton rose at a higher pace in June than the national average.
According to Statistics Canada’s New Housing Price Index, which was released on Thursday, prices for new homes in June were up 0.3 per cent in Calgary and 0.2 per cent in Edmonton from May.
Nationally, new house prices edged up 0.1 per cent in June, largely due to rising construction costs across the country, said the federal agency.
“The cost of softwood lumber, which is widely used in residential construction, has been on the rise. According to the Industrial Product Price Index, the price of softwood lumber (except tongue and groove and other edge worked lumber) rose 34.3 per cent year over year in June,” added StatsCan.
Among the 11 surveyed census metropolitan areas reporting growth in June, the largest increases were in Montréal (+1.0 per cent) and Ottawa (+0.7 per cent). Builders in both markets linked the gains to rising construction and land development costs, said the federal agency.
On an annual basis, prices in Calgary were up 0.3 per cent from June 2017 and they were flat in Edmonton.
Nationally, new house prices rose 0.8 per cent year-over-year in June. The largest 12-month gains were in Ottawa (+5.0 per cent) and London (+4.8 per cent). Among the four cities reporting declines on an annual basis, Toronto (-1.3%) and Regina (-1.2%) had the largest 12-month decreases.
Vancouver (+0.2%) showed an increase in June following five months of flat prices.
Six census metropolitan areas reported declines in June, with Oshawa (-0.3%) registering the largest decrease.
New home prices were unchanged in Toronto in June. Prices in what has been one of the nation’s hottest markets (along with Vancouver) have been flat or declining since November 2017.
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.