New home prices on their way up at the beginning of 2017 - StatsCan

Reflecting the sustained growth of costs across all housing types, Canada’s new home prices exhibited start-of-the-year increases that may very well presage an overheated year for consumers and industry players, Statistics Canada revealed last week.

Fresh data from the agency revealed that national prices for new homes (excluding condominiums and apartments) spiked upwards by 3.1 per cent year-over-year in January. This represented 0.1 per cent growth compared to December 2016 numbers, Reuters reported.

Maintaining its status as the Canadian housing sector’s central driver of growth, the Toronto housing market posted a 0.2 per cent increase in the value of its new homes amid ever-higher land prices.

In contrast, Vancouver suffered a 0.1 per cent decline from December, although prices actually saw a 3.6 per cent year-over-year increase. The combination of the foreign buyers’ tax and the stricter federal mortgage lending requirements has led to a noticeable cooling down in Vancouver’s activity since mid-2016.

Similarly, the number of housing starts across the nation owes much of its robustness to Ontario, according to the latest findings of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The seasonally adjusted rate for housing starts last month was 210,207 units, up from 208,934 in January. This was well above initial Thomson Reuters predictions of 200,000 units.

While activity in the multi-unit segment slackened, single detached homes in urban areas saw a significant boost: CMHC noted that 71,871 single detached houses were started in February, up 12.1 per cent from the previous month. Supply scarcity in Toronto has been cited as the main motivator in Ontario’s outsized performance.


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