The nippy growth of the national housing market is continuing to slow, data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday suggests.
Inflation-adjusted prices for new homes nationwide were up 2.7 per cent in July from the same month the year before, the federal agency reported — a slight deceleration from the 3.5 per cent year-over-year hike in new housing prices recorded in June.
Statistics Canada said it was the sixth consecutive month of easing in price pressures for new homes, "mainly due to the softening market in Western Canada." Housing prices have been on an overall cooling trend for two years, the agency said.
Still, several Prairie cities posted torrid growth in costs for new homes. Regina booked year-over-year price increases of 29.6 per cent, down from a peak of 34 per cent in April but still the national leader. Saskatoon had the third-hottest market, with new-home prices rising 13.1 per cent from July 2007.
St. John's had the second-hottest market for new houses, recording a 24.3 per cent rise in prices.
It was a much different story for builders in Edmonton, where prices for new housing fell 5.3 per cent in July from the year earlier.
Statistics Canada attributed the upward pressure on prices for new homes to higher costs for fuel, steel and labour.
New home prices will likely be negative, on a nationwide year over year basis, by the end of the year.