New home prices inch up in August in Metro
By Derrick Penner,
METRO VANCOUVER — Metro Vancouver new-home prices edged up in August, according to Statistics Canada's latest measure of new-construction values, which helped lessen the dip that prices took during the housing downturn.
Year over year, however, Metro Vancouver new-home prices in August remained 7.8 per cent below those that new homes sold for in August 2008, but that is down from eight per cent in July.
The increasing trend is in keeping with general market conditions, Robyn Adamache, a Canada Mortgage and Housing analyst, said in an interview.
“We’re starting to see a return, as we did over the summer, of housing demand coming back to the market,” Adamache said. “People are feeling more confident about making that purchase.”
Adamache noted that the August edge-up of prices coincided with a decline in unsold inventory within Metro Vancouver’s resale market, “so it would make sense that prices would start to improve as the number of units available gets lower.”
Among prairie cities,
On the West Coast,
However, Jake Friesen, vice-president of Metro-Vancouver builder Qualico Development, said “[discounting prices] was last year's news.”
Friesen said that at the end of 2008 Qualico dropped prices on its single-family homes an average of 12 per cent, but "in 2009, we've been raising prices on a regular basis."
The increases reflect a recovery of the market for new homes, but Friesen said builders are also seeing the prices on a lot of materials creep back up from lows inspired by the collapse of commodity prices last year.
"Those discounts, those savings [on material prices], have all but disappeared," Friesen said.
Among other cities,
On a national basis, overall prices increased 0.1 per cent from July to August following a 0.3-per-cent increase from June to July, Statistics Canada said.
Year over year, new-home prices on the Statistics Canada index in August remained 3.1 per cent below prices recorded in August 2008.
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