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New house prices creep up in December

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says its new housing price index rose 0.1 per cent in December, after no change in November.

The agency says the combined metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa was the top contributor to the December advance, with prices up 0.2 per cent after four consecutive months of little or no change.

It says prices also rose 0.2 per cent in the St. Catharines–Niagara, region and were up 0.1 per cent in Ottawa–Gatineau, the first monthly increase in that region following seven months of unchanged or declining prices.

Prices were down 0.3 per cent in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, where they had been almost unchanged since August 2012.

The decrease, the largest since May 2010, was mainly due to some builders offering free upgrade packages to generate sales.

Prices were unchanged in 11 of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed in December.

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