UPDATE 1-Canada home prices rise in August from July, up 5.4 pct on year

Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:48am EDT
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(Adds regional details, context)

TORONTO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in August from a month ago, the eighth straight monthly increase, to hit another record high as gains in key markets offset losses in others, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Monday.

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed national home prices rose 1 percent last month from July. They were up 5.4 percent from a year earlier, the largest year-over-year increase since November 2014.

While prices in six of 11 markets increased from July, several are coming back from earlier declines, meaning only Vancouver, Toronto, and Hamilton are at their peak.

Canada's housing market has cooled in some regions after a boom that started in 2009, but hot demand in the largest and most expensive markets - Toronto and Vancouver - has kept national price measures at record levels.

Interest rates near historic lows have helped fuel demand but a prolonged decline in oil prices has hurt resource-dependent cities including Calgary. The Canadian economy was in a recession in the first half of 2015, though economists are broadly expecting positive growth in the second half of the year.

August's gains were led by a 3.9 percent jump in Calgary, defying recent declines, a 2.4 percent gain in Hamilton and a 1.6 percent increase in Toronto. Prices in Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg were all up by 0.6 percent.

Declines from July included a 1.1 percent slide in Quebec, a 0.5 percent drop in Edmonton and Montreal, a 0.4 percent dip in Halifax and a 0.3 percent slip in Victoria.

Year-over-year data show the two-speed nature of Canada's housing market, with rampant price growth in key markets that have helped buoy an otherwise weakening housing picture.   Continued...