New-house prices across the country up by 4.1 per cent in 2002

Wednesday, February 12th, 2003


OTTAWA (CP) – The asking price for new houses across the country rose by 4.1 per cent last year, the highest annual average increase in more than 13 years, says Statistics Canada.

An annual average is calculated by adding increases for each month of the year compared with the same month a year earlier and dividing by 12. In December alone, prices rose by 0.3 per cent from November, “capping off a strong year of growth in new-house prices,” the agency said Wednesday.

December 2002 prices compared with December 2001 were 5.1 per cent higher, the highest 12-month increase in more than 12 years.

“Monthly rises occurred in 12 of the 21 urban centres surveyed, with the largest increases in St. Catharines-Niagara at 0.9 per cent and Calgary at 0.8 per cent. Higher material and labour costs were the main sources of this growth.”

December prices rose 0.4 per cent in Hamilton, partly the result of higher land values. In London, Ont., Sudbury-Thunder Bay, Edmonton and Victoria, the index increased 0.3 per cent on a month-to-month basis. The index was up 0.2 per cent in St. John’s, Nfld., Ottawa-Gatineau and Toronto, and up 0.1 per cent in Saint John, N.B.,-MonctonFredericton and Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario.

“For the second time in a row, Edmonton led . . . with the largest year-over-year increase for new home prices – 9.3 per cent,” the agency said. “Montreal was second with an increase of 8.3 per cent, and Quebec and Ottawa-Gatineau both went up 8.0 per cent on a 12-month basis. There were no annual decreases.

On an annual average basis, notable turnarounds included Victoria, up 3.6 per cent, and Vancouver, up 2.5 per cent.

Ottawa, which a year earlier had a strong increase in annual average prices of 11.6 per cent, saw this growth fall back to 7.7 per cent.

“However, this is still the largest increase among the cities surveyed in 2002.”

Edmonton, which came in second, had a significant jump in the annual average of 7.2 per cent compared with 2001 at 1.6 per cent. “At the bottom of the pack were Charlottetown and Windsor, Ont., with minor increases of 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.”

© Copyright  2003 The Canadian Press

Comments are closed.