Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Ottawa Housing Price Growth Flat in April

New housing prices in the Ottawa-Gatineau area grew by 3.2% year-over-year in April, with growth roughly flat compared to a month earlier after two months of slowdowns.

Local contractors' selling prices grew at a slightly faster pace than in April, when a year-over-year growth rate of 3.1% was recorded.

However, the trend for the rest of the country was less positive, with new housing prices increasing at their slowest pace in more than two and a half years, at 5.2%. The growth rate was down 0.9% from the previous month, marking the third consecutive month in which there was a deceleration from the previous month.

Despite healthy gains in most of eastern Canada, large declines in price growth for the Prairies canceled out most of the increases, with the sharpest deceleration of 5.4% seen in Edmonton, to 8.1%. It was the ninth consecutive month that the city had seen a slowdown in new housing price growth, as fierce competition among builders resulted in lower prices being offered to prospective home buyers.

Calgary also posted a significant deceleration of by 2.8% to 2.5% in April.

Meanwhile, Saskatoon, while still recording the highest year-over-year growth among all the cities surveyed, also had a large 2.5% slowdown to 43.7%. However, it was the 12th straight month that the city had recorded the strongest year-over-year price gain.

On the upside, Regina posted the biggest acceleration of 6.2%, to 34%, as increased material and labor costs, a strong market and continued high demand for new housing helped to boost contractors' selling prices.

St. John's also saw year-over-year price growth speed up by a strong 4.3%, to 16.3%, as Newfoundland and Labrador's economy continued to strengthen.

Once again, Windsor was the only city to post a decline in new housing prices compared to a year earlier, as it continued a downward trend started 19 months ago, but the 0.2% decrease was less severe than the 0.4% decline seen in March.


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