UPDATE 1-Canadian new home prices rise 0.1 pct in Jan

Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:41am EDT
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* Prices rise 0.1 pct in January, as expected
    * Price growth eased from year earlier to 2.2 pct

    OTTAWA, March 14 - Prices of new homes in Canada rose 0.1
percent in January from December, as forecast, but the
year-on-year price growth continued to soften to 2.2 percent
from 2.3 percent previously, Statistics Canada data showed on
    New housing prices had risen 0.2 percent in December.
    The Toronto-Oshawa metropolitan region, the country's
biggest real estate market, and Calgary, Alberta contributed
most to the monthly increase, Statscan said.
    Overall, prices rose in nine cities, fell in five and were
flat in seven in the month.
    On a year-over-year basis, the biggest price decreases were
in the West Coast cities of Victoria and Vancouver, where prices
fell 2.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
    The Canadian government, which imposed tighter mortgage
rules in July, and the Bank of Canada have long expressed
concerns the housing market might overheat. 
    But recent data has shown the market is cooling. Forecasters
in a Reuters poll published on Feb. 26 expected a soft landing
rather than a U.S.-style crash, predicting Canadian housing
prices will fall 7.5 percent in the next several years.
    The new housing price index excludes condominiums, which the
government says are a particular cause for concern.