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Prices for new homes in Canada rose 0.3 per cent in October after a 0.5 per cent increase the previous month.
 
It was the fourth straight monthly gain in the federal agency's new home price index, although the increase was slightly below the 0.4 per cent many economists had expected.
 
The biggest price increase was in Quebec City, up 1.1 per cent, followed by Vancouver, up 0.7 per cent. In Ontario, Hamilton and the Sudbury-Thunder Bay area were both up 0.5 per cent.
 
The largest year-over-year increase was also in Quebec City, which jumped 7.5 per cent.
 
"Land values have been growing in this city as a result of increased demand and fewer available lots, as well as new development phases with higher land costs," Statistics Canada said.
 
Prices in St. John's, N.L., rose 6.8 per cent in October from a year earlier. In New Brunswick, the Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton region gained 3.1 per cent.
 
Meanwhile, short-term expectations for housing starts have risen significantly, the Conference Board of Canada said. Of 27 census metropolitan areas (cities and surrounding communities) the board covers, an additional 10 are showing positive expectations in December compared with the month before.
 
They are Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Que., Oshawa, Ont., St. Catherines, Ont., Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and Abbotsford, B.C.
 

Expectations fell in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto and Sudbury, Ont.

The figures are based on data from the conference board and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

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