New Housing Prices Muscle up in January

Statistics Canada told Canadians the housing market remained a hot one last month.

The agency declared new home prices rose at their fastest pace since October, increasing 0.7% nationally in January.

StatsCan added new house prices were up in 22 of the 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) surveyed and were unchanged in five CMAs. The national index was up for the ninth consecutive month, linked primarily to the decreasing supply of new homes and continuing high demand, driven mainly by lower borrowing costs and consumer desire for more living space during the pandemic.

In January, Ottawa once again led the increase in new house prices, popping 15.3%, which it has done for almost three years (since May 2018).

Prices in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo galloped 13%, and Hamilton saw prices surge+11.2%, as a result of their relative affordability compared with homes in Toronto, coupled with a strong demand for single-family homes.

According to the latest property assessment values, for all property types, the value of Toronto homes was on average $340,000 higher than for homes in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo and $270,000 higher compared with those in Hamilton. These two nearby cities both have a strong housing market and attract out-of-town buyers—especially from the Toronto region.

Regina reported the lone year-over-year decline in January, losing 1%. However, the decrease in new housing prices has been slowing in this city since the record 4.8% drop in July 2020.