Canada New House Prices Rise 0.2% in March on Month-Over-Month Basis

By David George-Cosh Features Dow Jones Newswires

Canadian new house prices rose at a steady pace in March, led by Toronto and Vancouver amid favorable market conditions and higher construction costs.

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Canada's new housing price index was up 0.2% in March on a month-over-month basis, Statistics Canada said Thursday. Market expectations were for a 0.2% gain, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

On a 12-month basis, Canadian new house prices increased 3.3% in March.

The new-house price data from Statistics Canada cover single-dwelling, semi-detached and row houses. The report doesn't incorporate prices for newly built condominium units.

Statistics Canada said new house prices in Vancouver and Toronto, two of Canada's hottest housing markets, were among the top contributors to the rise in the national index. For Vancouver, prices were up 0.7%, the first increase in five months and the largest since May 2016. Prices were up 0.2% in Toronto.

The data comes on the heels of several warnings from economists on bubbly conditions in the Toronto-area housing market, as year-over-year price gains have hit the 30% range in recent months.

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Policymakers ranging from the federal government to the Bank of Canada have warned that speculators are playing a significant role in driving up real-estate prices in Canada's largest metropolitan region to unsustainable levels.

Of the 27 urban centers tracked, 10 posted advances in new house prices, and three showed declines while 14 markets were unchanged.

Write to David George-Cosh at david.george-cosh@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This item was corrected at 3:41 p.m. ET to show that Statistics Canada tracks 27 urban centers, not 21 urban centers, when determining the country's house price index.

Statistics Canada tracks 27 urban centers when determining the country's house price index. "Canada New House Prices Rise 0.2% in March on Month-Over-Month Basis," published May 11, 2017, at 9:06 a.m. EDT, misstated the number of urban centers as 21 in the eighth paragraph. (May 11, 2017)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2017 15:54 ET (19:54 GMT)