09/12/2013 10:20 EDT | Updated 11/12/2013 05:12 EST

Canadian new home prices up 1.9% annually in July

The cost of new housing rose 0.2 per cent across Canada in July, with house prices in Toronto, Oshawa, Ont. and Calgary boosting the increase, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.

Over the past year, new home prices rose 1.9 per cent across the country. Statistics Canada's findings are based on an index of new home prices and no average home price was revealed.

New home prices have been rising for more than four years, but resale homes have had a steeper runup in price. Teranet-National Bank reported resale house prices rose 0.6 per cent in August from July and 2.3 per cent from a year earlier.

In Calgary, new home prices rose 5.8 per cent in the past year, mainly as a result of a shortage of developed land, the agency reported. Calgary has led increases in housing prices for the past eight months.

Builders reported strong demand for new homes, as well as rising material and labour costs as the cause of increased prices in the Toronto and Oshawa region, which have rising 2.6 per cent in the past year.

The largest monthly price advance in July was 0.7 per cent in St John's, where builders say there has been increase in land development costs. St. John’s new home prices rose 1.8 per cent annually.

In the past year, new home prices in Winnipeg were up 5.3 per cent, in St. Catharines–Niagara, 3.4 per cent and in Halifax 2.9 per cent.

Both Vancouver and Victoria reported a drop in new home prices compared to 2012 and prices in Ottawa–Gatineau and Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Ont. barely budged.

The price of resale housing is rising even faster than new homes.

The Teranet-National Bank report shows resale prices rose the most in Calgary with a 6.5 per cent jump in the past year.

Prices were up 5.5 per cent in Hamilton, 3.8 per cent in Toronto, 3.5 per cent in Quebec City and 2.6 per cent in Edmonton.

Both Vancouver and Victoria have experienced six consecutive months of falling prices. Halifax also registered a decline in resale prices of 0.6 per cent.

The Canadian Household Survey results released yesterday showed a shift in purchasing by Canadian buyers to condos over houses as prices rise.