Regina, Saskatoon see biggest drop in new home prices in November

Regina Leader Post , January 14, 2016- Regina and Saskatoon had the dubious distinction of posting the two largest declines in new home prices among 21 Canadian cities in November, according to the new housing price index (NHPI) released Thursday by Statistics Canada .

“Among the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, six posted year-over-year price declines in November: Regina (1.6 per cent), Saskatoon (1.4 per cent), Québec (0.9 per cent), Calgary (0.8 per cent), Victoria (0.5 per cent) and Ottawa–Gatineau (0.5 per cent),” the federal agency said. “This was the largest year-over-year decline in Saskatoon since January 2010.”

Nationally, the NHPI increased 1.6 per cent over the 12-month period ending in November, the largest year-over-year increase since December 2014.

Toronto-Oshawa was the top gainer, recording the largest 12-month price increase in November at 4.1 per cent, the largest year-over-year price gain in the region since January 2013.

Other significant year-over-year increases were in Hamilton (3.3 per cent), Vancouver (2.3 per cent), Winnipeg (1.7 per cent), St. Catharines–Niagara (1.3 per cent) and Montréal (1.1 per cent). “This was the largest 12-month increase in Vancouver since September 2010, and the largest year-over-year gain in Winnipeg since April 2014,” the report said.

On a month-to-month basis, the NHPI rose 0.2 per cent in November, following a 0.3 per cent increase in October.

The combined region of Toronto and Oshawa (up 0.2 per cent) was the top contributor to the national increase in November, while Vancouver (0.5 per cent) recorded the largest monthly price gain. “Builders in both areas cited market conditions as the main reason for the advance. This was the largest increase in Vancouver since April 2015.”

Saskatoon posted the second-largest monthly decline in NHPI in November, down 0.3 per cent from October, while Halifax was down 0.4 per cent. “Builders in Halifax reported lower negotiated selling prices as the primary reason for the decline, while builders in Saskatoon lowered their prices to stimulate sales,” the report said.

However, Regina still boasts the largest increase in new home prices at 157 per cent of the 2007 base-year price for the NHPI. That means new home prices have increased in Regina 57 per cent in the past eight years, compared with the national average of 14 per cent. St. John’s, N.L., is next at 52 per cent, followed by Winnipeg at 40 per cent and Toronto-Oshawa at 28 per cent.

The NHPI measures changes over time in the selling prices of new residential houses where the specifications of each housing type remain the same between two consecutive periods. The survey covers single-detached dwellings, semi-detached houses and townhouses or row homes, minus land costs and value-added taxes.

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