Canadian new home selling prices decreased 0.7% between January and February, compared with a 0.6% decline a month earlier, according to data released Thursday morning by Statistics Canada. This resulted in a New Housing Price Index of 155.3.

The New Housing Price Index was down 1.8% in February compared with the same month a year earlier. This was the second consecutive year-over-year decrease at the Canada level, and the largest decline since September 1996 (-2.0%).

Between January and February, prices declined 3.0% in Edmonton, followed by Vancouver (-2.9%), Saskatoon (-2.1%), Victoria (-1.7%) and Calgary (-0.9%). In all these cities, except for Saskatoon, poor market conditions continued to be the main reason for the decreases. In Saskatoon, declines were attributed to lower material and labor costs and competitive market conditions.

In Québec, new housing prices increased 2.6% from a month earlier, as some builders moved to new development phases with increased land values. Other builders increased their prices significantly as a result of a shortage of available land in the city.

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