UPDATE 1-Canada new housing price index rises 0.2 percent in June

Thu Aug 8, 2013 8:33am EDT
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* Prices have risen for 27 months in a row

* Oil capital Calgary shows greatest strength

OTTAWA, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The price of new houses in Canada grew by 0.2 percent in June from May thanks in part to continued strength in Calgary, the nation's oil capital, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The increase, greater than the 0.1 percent rise predicted by analysts, marked the 27th straight month that prices have gone up. Prices in June were 1.8 percent greater than in June 2012.

Calgary, where prices increased by 0.5 percent, was the top contributor to the overall advance for the fifth consecutive month. Builders said higher material and labor costs, as well as land prices, were responsible.

Of the 21 metropolitan areas, prices were up in 10, down in five and stayed the same in six.

The Canadian government, which imposed tighter mortgage rules in July 2012, and the Bank of Canada have long expressed concerns the housing market might overheat.

The new housing price index excludes condominiums, which the government says are a particular cause for concern.