New house prices remained fairly flat in September for the Calgary and Edmonton regions, according to a new report released on Thursday by Statistics Canada.
The federal agency’s New Housing Price Index said prices in the Calgary census metropolitan area were down 0.2 per cent from August and flat in the Edmonton census metropolitan area. Nationally, prices were flat as well.
On a year-over-year basis, new home prices dipped 0.9 per cent in the Calgary region and by 0.5 per cent in the Edmonton region while across Canada they rose by 0.2 per cent.
StatsCan said prices across the country were unchanged for a second consecutive month despite increases in some pockets.
“In September, new home buyers in 20 of the 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed saw flat or decreasing prices. Increased mortgage rates, along with tighter mortgage regulations, have coincided with slowing demand for new homes across Canada,” said the federal agency.
It said new home prices fell the most in St. John’s and Hamilton (both down 0.4 per cent), and Halifax and Saskatoon (both down 0.3 per cent). Builders in all four CMAs reported unfavourable market conditions as the primary reason for the price decline, it added.
“The largest price increases in September were in London (+0.5 per cent), and Vancouver and Sherbrooke (both up 0.4 per cent). Builders in London reported that increased construction costs were pushing up prices. In Vancouver, builders returned to list prices after some discounting in previous months. In Sherbrooke, builders reported higher prices for new phases of development,” said Statistics Canada.
The federal agency said the annual increase across Canada was the smallest one since January 2010.
“Over the past year, new home prices have risen in the historically more affordable CMAs of Ottawa and London. For a fourth consecutive month, Ottawa (+5.1 per cent) and London (+3.8 per cent) had the largest 12-month gains among surveyed CMAs. However, in Toronto and in nearby CMAs within the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, price growth has been largely muted. Year-over-year price movements ranged from a 1.2 per cent decline in Toronto to a 1.1 per cent increase in St. Catharines–Niagara,” it said.
“In September, four of the seven CMAs reporting 12-month declines were in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with Regina (-1.9 per cent) recording the largest decrease. Year over year, prices in Saskatchewan have been decreasing since January 2015.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.