UPDATE 1-Canada new housing prices up in April despite Calgary drop

Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:37am EDT
 
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OTTAWA, June 11 (Reuters) - New home prices in Canada edged up 0.1 percent in April from March despite a second consecutive month of declines in Calgary, capital of the country's struggling energy sector, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The increase matched analysts' expectations. Compared with April 2014, prices rose 1.1 percent, the slowest year-on-year pace of growth since February 2010.

Canada's housing market has boomed since the financial crisis, partly fueled by low interest rates. Policymakers play down the chances of a bubble and say they expect a soft landing for the sector.

Prices in the combined region of Toronto and Oshawa, which makes up 28.8 percent of the Canadian market, grew 0.2 percent.

In Calgary, which accounts for 13.5 percent of the market, prices fell 0.4 percent for a second month in a row. Some builders cut prices to stimulate sales as a slump in crude prices has depressed the market.

The new housing price index excludes apartments and condominiums, which the government says are a particular cause for concern and which account for one-third of new housing.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)