Housing market reveals weak economy


I shouldn’t be talking about housing prices after just buying an old house in downtown Moncton but Statistics Canada doesn’t consult me on their release dates for new stats.

Last wee, StatsCan published its new housing price index for major urban centres in Canada. For New Brunswick, it lumps together Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton. The index is set with 1997 at a base of 100. As of May 2005, the three urban areas in New Brunswick had an index of 108.5 – meaning that the average cost of a new house in those three communities has barely increased at all in the past eight years. Only Windsor and Sudbury in Ontario and Vancouver have exhibited larger increases in the new housing prices. Vancouver’s new housing prices have cooled off after a decade of massive increases.

The cost of new housing can be an important signal of the strength of an economy. Growing and successful economies tend to generate more housing activity and put upward pressure on cost. For example, consider Calgary with its index of 143.3 or Edmonton at 134.6. How about lowly St. John’s at 125.3.

Notwithstanding Al Hogan at the T&T, Samuel LeBreton at HRSDC and every other vested interest that wants to portray New Brunswick as fast growing – it ain’t happenin’.

…having said that I just paid much more than I should have for my new house :-)

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