New home prices flat in March say builders across Canada

Builders across Canada reported flat or declining prices for new homes according to Statistics Canada.

The weakness was reported in 18 of the 27 census metropolitan areas surveyed; it was the second consecutive month that new home prices were unchanged at a national level.

Toronto prices declined for the second month in a row while Vancouver saw a 0.1% increase following four monthly declines as builders reported improving market conditions.

In Gatineau, prices were up 0.4% due to increased construction costs; this was also seen in Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières (both up 0.2%).

Victoria posted a 0.4% decline, the largest nationwide, with builders reporting worsening conditions and lower negotiated selling prices.

Compared to 12 months earlier, new home prices in March gained just 0.1% nationally.

Of the 27 CMAs surveyed, Ottawa (+3.7%), Windsor (+3.1%) and London (+2.9%) posted the largest gains, while Regina (-2.8%) recorded the largest decrease among the 12 CMAs that had year-over-year decreases.

Oshawa (-1.3%), Toronto and Edmonton (both down 0.7%) also reported year-over-year decreases.

The Statistics Canada New Housing Price Index measures changes in the selling prices of new homes agreed between the buyer and the contractor at the time of signing the contract.

It tracks singles, semi-detached and townhouses or row homes but not condos or apartments.

Steve Randall