New Housing Price Index in Vancouver Climbs Further: StatCan

Joannah Connolly
April 14, 2016

Metro Vancouver's new home price index continued to push ahead in February, once more speeding up its pace of annual growth, according to a Statistics Canada report issued April 14.

The price of newly built housing in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) increased four per cent year over year in February – which was again the second-highest annual rate of growth of any region in Canada, after Toronto–Oshawa CMA.

Month over month, new home prices in Vancouver rose 0.8 per cent compared with January’s figures, making it the ninth consecutive month for rising monthly prices in the CMA. 

Along with Toronto, Vancouver was again the country’s biggest contributor to Canada’s overall monthly new home price rise of 0.2 per cent in January, which was pulled down by declines in the new housing price index in resource-dependent provinces.

It is a far cry from the pattern of only a year ago, when Vancouver’s new home prices were sliding, despite resale home prices already surging at that time. Increases in new home prices often do not reflect those seen in the resale market, as the price paid for a new home is only measured when the transaction is completed and registered with the Land Registry, rather than when the home is originally purchased off-plan. Because of long lead times on home construction, the new home prices registered today are often those homes sold many months or even years ago – whereas MLS® resale home prices are much more up to date.

This could mean that the new home price index can be expected to surge much further over the coming months and years as they catch up with today’s market and land prices.

Across BC, new housing prices in January were up 3.7 per cent year over year – once more the country's second-biggest provincial rise, after Ontario – and 0.8 per cent month over month, the same as Vancouver.

Victoria CMA's new home price index, which had been sliding until January, turned a corner and starting to rise in February. The index for the CMA was up 0.2 per cent compared with the same month last year and also up 0.2 compared with January 2016. StatCan observed that this was the first year-over-year increase in Victoria since September 2008.

To see Statistics Canada's full report and interactive tables, click here.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.