Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Housing prices surge in August

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The cost of new housing rose substantially in August, largely due to significant gains in Alberta.

Statistics Canada reports the New Housing Price Index rose 1.5 per cent in August to 145.7, eclipsing the 1.1 per cent increase registered in July; contractors selling prices increased 12.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Prices advanced in 16 of 21 metropolitan areas surveyed, with Edmonton posting the largest monthly increase at 6.8 per cent followed by Calgary at 3.5 per cent, Vancouver at 2.5 per cent and London, Ont. at 1.7 per cent.

In Edmonton and Calgary, increased costs for construction materials, steeper trade labour rates and higher land costs combined with strong demand to push up the prices of new homes.

Other noteworthy gains were recorded in Greater Sudbury-Grand Sudbury and Thunder Bay, Ont. which registered a 0.8 per cent gain, and Victoria, which posted a 0.7 per cent gain as builders said construction materials (drywall, heating and siding), labour costs and lot values contributed to the increases.

Land prices rose in 11 of the 16 metropolitan areas showing increases, while only five metropolitan areas registered no monthly change and none recorded decreases.

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