Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New housing price index declined in March: StatsCan

Canada's new housing price index was down 2.4 per cent in March from March 2008, Statistics Canada reported Monday.

New housing price index declined in March: StatsCanReal Estate prices continued to drop in March in most Canadian cities, Statistics Canada revealed Monday. (CBC)

"This was the third consecutive year-over-year decline at the Canada level as a result of lower prices in most surveyed cities," the agency said.

The index measures new house and land prices in 21 metropolitan areas. It is not a price itself, but a measure of how prices change. The index was set at 100 in 1997, and sat at 154.6 in March.

The March index includes a 3.6 per cent drop in house prices, and a 0.4 per cent drop in the cost of land.

The March index is down 0.5 per cent from February.

Year-over-year changes

The biggest annual index drops were in Edmonton (12.3 per cent), Saskatoon (11.2 per cent), Calgary (8.7 per cent), Vancouver (7.8 per cent) and Victoria (6.6 per cent).

Among surveyed cities, the largest year-over-year increase was in St. John's with 20.8 per cent, followed by Regina at 12.8 per cent. Quebec City was up 8.1 per cent, while Montreal rose 3.5 per cent.