Slight increases to housing starts aren’t going nearly far enough to reach affordability: Researcher
Rising shelter costs such mortgage interest, property taxes and rent put upward pressure on inflation in October even as the headline rate slowed, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
“The largest contributors to the year-over-year (consumer price index) increase continued to be mortgage interest cost, food purchased from stores and rent,” the federal agency said in its October inflation report.
Headline inflation rose by 3.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis in October, down from 3.8 per cent in September and 4.1 per cent in August.
According to the data published Tuesday, service prices – which include shelter-related costs – rose 4.6 per cent year-over-year, following a 3.9 per cent rise in September. The price of rent, as well as property taxes and other special charges were the main drivers of that increase, StatCan said.
“Property taxes and other special charges, which are priced annually in October, rose 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis, compared with a 3.6 per cent increase in October 2022,” the agency said in the report.
“The national increase in October 2023 was the largest since October 1992.”
Homeowners paid more in property taxes on a year-over-year basis in nearly every province, according to the report, “as municipalities required larger budgets to cover rising costs.”
Manitoba was the only province where property taxes declined, mainly due to a reduction in the provincial education tax, StatCan said.
Nationally, rental price inflation grew on a year-over-year basis at 8.2 per cent in October, compared to 7.3 per cent in September, reflecting acceleration across most provinces.
The largest increases in rent prices were seen in Nova Scotia, where prices rose 14.6 per cent last month, and in Alberta, where they rose 9.9 per cent. British Columbia and Quebec each saw rent price increases of 9.1 per cent.
A report released earlier this month by Rentals.ca and Urbanation found that the average asking price for a rental unit in Canada reached $2,178 in October, representing a 9.9 per cent year-over-year increase.
The report’s findings demonstrated a prolonged upward trend in rental prices that has seen asking rents hit new highs for six months in a row.