Regina and Calgary held the distinction of experiencing the biggest declines in new home prices in Canada in 2019.
Statistics Canada released its New Housing Price Index on Wednesday showing that prices dropped 2.6 per cent in Regina from 2018 while in Calgary they fell by 1.7 per cent.
“Market conditions led to builders offering lower selling prices, promotions and cash rebates to stimulate sales,” said the federal agency.
In 2019, new house prices increased the most in Ottawa (+5.4 per cent) and Montréal (+3.9 per cent), compared with 2018. Over the last year, favourable market conditions and skilled labour shortages led to higher construction costs, which contributed to the annual increases in both CMAs (census metropolitan areas), it said.
“New house prices in Canada’s historically most expensive housing markets, Vancouver (-1.4 per cent) and Toronto (-0.9 per cent), were down in 2019 compared with a year earlier, in the wake of policy measures put in place to cool the real estate markets in both CMAs. However, demand in these markets rebounded over the last few months of 2019,” added StatsCan.
In December, prices in Calgary were flat from November but down 2.2 per cent from December 2018. Edmonton prices rose by 0.4 per cent but were also off by 2.2 per cent year-over-year.
Nationally, new house prices rose 0.2 per cent in December, the largest monthly increase for the month of December since 2009, said StatsCan. On an annual basis, they were up 0.1 per cent.
“Prices for new houses increased the most in Ottawa (+0.6 per cent) in December, with builders reporting market conditions and construction costs as the primary reasons for the gain. The high demand for housing, as well as low inventory levels, continued to push prices up in the region,” said the report.
“For the sixth consecutive month, the largest year-over-year price increases occurred in Ottawa (+7.2 per cent) and Montréal (+6.6 per cent). Ottawa has been the CMA with the largest price increases since May 2018. Additionally, this was the largest year-over-year increase in Ottawa since October 2004, and the largest in Montréal since November of the same year.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.