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11.04.2013 13:25

Canada's monthly new house prices increased slightly more than expected in February

Canada's monthly new house prices increased slightly more than expected in February with Calgary in the oil-rich province of Alberta posting the largest gain in almost six years.

Prices of new houses nationwide climbed 0.2%, faster than the 0.1% gain in January, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The consensus call was for a 0.1% increase, according to a report from Royal Bank of Canada. On a year-on-year basis, prices slowed as expected to 2.1% from 2.2%.

Calgary was the top contributor to the monthly gain, with prices up 1.0%, the most since May 2007. The statistical agency said builders cited higher costs for materials and labor as the main reasons for the increase.

The biggest monthly rise was in Regina, in the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, where higher operating costs and a shortage of developed land drove prices up 1.4%. Over in the eastern part of the country, prices in Halifax, in Nova Scotia, rose 0.9% due to higher costs for materials, labor and developed land. Price gains in both these cities were the largest in a year.

Meanwhile, prices were unchanged in the combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa after six consecutive increases. The annual price gain in the region slowed to 3.7% from 4.2% in January.

In the Ottawa-Gatineau region, encompassing the nation's capital, prices fell 0.2%, the second monthly decline, due to softer market conditions.

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