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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prices of new homes in Canada rose 0.1 percent in November from October on strength in Toronto, the country's biggest city, continuing an advance in prices that began in mid-2009, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts had expected a 0.2 percent gain in the new housing price index following a 0.2 percent increase in October.
New home prices in the combined Toronto-Oshawa region contributed the most to the November gain, climbing 0.3 percent.
The biggest declines were in the west coast cities of Vancouver and Victoria, where new home prices fell 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
Overall, new housing prices rose in 13 of the metropolitan areas surveyed in November, were unchanged in four areas, and fell in four.
Prices increased by 2.2 percent from November 2011, just below a 2.4 percent year-on-year increase in the previous month.
The Canadian government, which tightened mortgage rules in July, and the Bank of Canada have long expressed concerns the housing market may 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 Bernadette Baum