Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New home costs continue to rise

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THE rising cost of building materials drove up the cost of a new home in Winnipeg at one of the fastest paces in the country in April, according to new Statistics Canada figures.

The agency said Thursday Winnipeg's new housing price index rose 0.6 per cent from March to April. That was the third-biggest month-over-month increase, after St. John's 1.0 per cent and Hamilton's 0.8 per cent.

And for the fifth consecutive month, Winnipeg also had the highest year-over-year increase in its new housing price index, at 5.5 per cent. The next biggest 12-month gain among the 21 cities surveyed was Calgary's 4.7 per cent.

Statistics Canada analyst Melanie Beaupre said Winnipeg homebuilders cited the rising cost of building materials, especially lumber, as the main reason for the month-over-month price gain.

"Quite a few other cities were also seeing increases in materials," Beaupre said, "and it's probably due to increased lumber costs."

The year-over-year increase was attributed to an 8.4 per cent jump in land costs, and a 4.3 per cent increase in material and labour costs, Beaupre added.

Nationally, the month-over-month new housing price increase was 0.2 per cent, while the year-over-year gain was 2.0 per cent.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2013 B6

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