Price of a New Home in Vancouver and BC Gets Steeper: StatCan

Joannah Connolly
June 9, 2016

The new housing price index for Metro Vancouver saw another annual rise in April, Statistics Canada reported June 9 – although the increase is nowhere close to the leaps seen in the resale market

The purchase cost of a new home in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) increased 3.9 per cent year over year in April. As has been the recent trend, this was again the second-highest annual growth of any CMA in Canada, after Toronto–Oshawa.

Month over month, new home prices in Vancouver rose 0.2 per cent above March 2016.

Across BC, new housing prices in April were up 3.8 per cent year over year – largely driven by the Vancouver market. This overall provincial rise meant BC overtook Ontario in terms of seeing the largest annual increase of any of the provinces or territories. The BC price index also rose 0.3 per cent month over month – uncharacteristically, more than even Vancouver’s.

The province’s capital city provided the answer to that equation. Victoria CMA's new home price index, which had been sliding until January this year, continued the recovery that began in February. The index for the CMA in April was up a modest 1.3 per cent compared with the same month last year, which StatCan highlighted as the largest 12-month price advance in Victoria since April 2008.

Victoria’s new home price index was also up 0.8 per cent over March 2016, the joint-highest monthly rise of any CMA in the country, and the reason for BC’s overall monthly rise outstripping that of Vancouver CMA.

Canada’s overall new home price index rose a steady 2.1 per cent year over year in April – an average that was pulled down by declines in Alberta and Saskatchewan, among other regions.

Changes in new home prices often do not mirror 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, 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 in the Vancouver and Victoria CMAs can be expected to surge much further over the coming months and years as they catch up with today’s market and land prices.

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.