New home prices had biggest monthly jump since 2017 in August, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the price of new homes jumped half a per cent in August, the biggest one-month increase since May 2017.

Analysts from Statistics Canada say the rising prices stem from both more demand from homebuyers, and higher building costs.

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The monthly housing price index says that homebuilders could tack on $5,000 to $10,000 to the cost of building a single-family home due to record high lumber prices.

Plus, there is a lumber shortage, as more people look to renovate, and sawmills are producing less amid staffing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada says homebuyers are bidding up the prices of new homes, competing over a relatively low inventory of new houses on the market, particularly in Ottawa and Montreal.

Oshawa, Ont., and Quebec City saw the biggest price increases of nearly two per cent between July and August. Halifax has also been on a tear, up 1.6 per cent in August — the eighth consecutive monthly increase.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

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