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Price of new housing coming down in Kelowna but not by a lot

For the first time since 2019, the cost of building a home in Canada actually fell from where it was a year ago.

According to data released by Statistics Canada last week, prices have fallen during six of the past nine months from their peak in August 2022. The declines aren't huge.

Metro Kelowna saw prices unchanged from March to April but down 0.1% from April 22. Vancouver and Victoria are the only other metropolitan areas listed from B.C. Both were unchanged compared to March but Vancouver prices fell 0.8% year-over-year in April while Victoria saw the biggest drop in the country at -2.7%.

Prices in the country as a whole fell 0.2% while Quebec City had the biggest increase at 3.9% year over year. The report attributes cost increases in Quebec to labour shortages while decreases in prices are due to market demand, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.

READ MORE: Investor-occupants made up almost 10% of B.C. homeowners in 2020: Statistics Canada

What the report doesn’t take into account is the actual cost per square foot to build a home, it just focussed on the selling prices.

“StatsCan knows they don’t have a ton of great data on new housing, both starts as well as the demographics trends that go with those homes, so whether we’re building more townhomes and missing middle type of stuff,” Dan Winer, executive officer with the Canadian Home Builders Association, Central Okanagan, told

Missing middle is the term used for infill housing where things like fourplexes replace single-family houses, meaning smaller homes so lower costs.

READ MORE: Kelowna is doubling down on fourplexes

“We’re looking at working with them (Stats Canada) closely on a few projects and expect some news to come out about that and what they want to track in the housing in the months ahead,” Winer said.

While some lumber prices have come down over the last year, he hasn’t seen any actual decline in building costs overall, although association members do tend to build high-end infill or custom homes, Winer said.

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