No doubt the modest easing of rules surrounding the stress test for first-time house buyers was welcomed news for those in the province’s home building community. They’ve been navigating choppy waters as they try to match inventory with demand.
And January was an especially tough month so the news that the stress test rules were being eased – they were not changed much but still a little less onerous – was a silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud.
The national picture on the prices new home builders can extract from the market is about as varied as you can get.
In Montreal in the past year, builders were charging 7-percent more. In Regina they were charging almost four percent less than they were a year earlier and, while prices for other things were rising they dropped about six-percent in the last four years. So the market in in this region continues to soften. Saskatoon saw a price decline of 1.3 percent in the past year.
Other western cities were feeling the pinch too. Vancouver and Calgary saw prices fall by 2.5 percent and in Edmonton it was almost two percent.