The New Housing Price Index (NHPI) edged up 0.1% in January compared with the previous month, according to the data from Statistics Canada. The increase was largely attributable to new housing prices in Ontario.

Among the 27 metropolitan areas surveyed, new housing prices were up in 14, down in 7 and unchanged in 6.

Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+1.0%) recorded the biggest price gain. Builders in the region cited a shortage of developed land as the reason for the rise, the largest since June 2012.

Other significant price increases were observed in St. Catharines–Niagara (+0.9%) and London (+0.9%). In St. Catharines–Niagara, builders reported higher construction costs and improving market conditions as reasons for the rise. Builders in London tied the gains to higher construction costs.

Toronto was the top contributor to the national increase, recording a 0.2% gain in January. Higher land prices were somewhat offset by lower negotiated selling prices and bonus packages offered by builders to generate sales.

The largest monthly price decreases were recorded in Greater Sudbury (-0.8%) and St. John’s (-0.4%). In both regions, the primary reason for the declines was lower negotiated selling prices.

The NHPI increased 3.1% over the 12-month period ending in January.

Toronto was the top contributor to the gain, and also recorded the largest year-over-year price increase (+8.0%) among the metropolitan areas surveyed.

Other notable year-over-year gains were observed in St. Catharines–Niagara (+6.5%), Windsor (+5.7%), Victoria (+5.5%) and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+5.2%).

In January, five metropolitan areas recorded year-over-year price declines, with Saskatoon (-1.2%) and Regina (-1.0%) posting the largest decreases.

Source: Statistics Canada