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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prices of new homes in Canada rose for the 19th consecutive month in October, climbing by a faster-than-expected 0.2 percent from September on continued strength in Toronto and Montreal, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts had expected a 0.1 percent rise in the new housing price index.
Prices for new homes in the Toronto-Oshawa metropolitan region, which accounts for 26.6 percent of the entire Canadian market, rose by 0.3 percent in the month and were up 4.9 percent on the year.
The second highest year-on-year increase was in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where prices climbed 3.9 percent in the period.
Overall, new housing prices rose in eight of the metropolitan areas surveyed in October, were unchanged in eleven and down in two areas.
Prices in October increased by 2.4 percent from October 2011.
The Canadian government, which imposed tighter mortgage rules in July, and the Bank of Canada have long expressed concerns the housing market might overheat. Ottawa says it is too soon to judge the full effect of the new rules.
The new housing price index excludes condominiums, which the government says are a particular cause for concern.
Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama