Saskatoon, Regina post 3.5% housing price hike

The Leader-Post with files from The Canadian Press, March 14, 2014 - New homes are getting pricier in Saskatchewan's two major cities, according to Statistics Canada's new housing price index, released Thursday.

The biggest monthly price gain in the country in January was in Saskatoon,where prices were up 1.4 per cent from December, the largest monthly increase in the city since March 2008, Statistics Canada said.

New housing prices were up 3.5 per cent in January in both Saskatoon and Regina compared with the same month in 2013. The 3.5 per cent increase was the second-largest percentage increase in the country, and the largest year-over-year increase in Saskatoon since December 2010.

Regina still retains the dubious honour of posting the largest increase in new housing prices in Canada since the base year for the index of 2007. In seven years, Regina has seen a 60 per cent increase in new housing prices, compared with the national increase of 10.7 per cent. The only city to come close to Regina's increase in the index is St. John's, N.L., which saw a 51 per cent increase since 2007.

Nationally, the new housing price index rose 0.3 per cent in January, following a 0.1 per cent gain in December, for the largest increase since May 2012, mainly due to strong gains in the Prairie region.

Calgary was the top contributor to the January rise, with prices up 1.3 per cent, its largest increase since April 2007. On a year-overyear basis, Calgary also saw the largest increase in the index at seven per cent.

Prices were down 0.3 per cent in Ontario's Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo region for the second consecutive month and new house prices also fell 0.3 per cent in Charlottetown. Prices were unchanged in seven of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed in January.

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