UPDATE 1-Canada new home prices rise in August, pushed up by Ontario
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OTTAWA Oct 8 (Reuters) - New home prices in Canada rose by 0.3 percent in August from July on continued strength in Ontario, the most populous of the 10 provinces, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Market analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 percent increase. Compared with a year earlier, prices were up by 1.3 percent.
The Toronto and Oshawa region, which accounts for 28.8 percent of the entire Canadian market, posted a 0.6 percent gain. Builders cited market conditions for what was the seventh consecutive monthly gain in the region.
Also in Ontario, the city of Hamilton recorded a 0.8 percent gain, also due to market conditions, while higher material and labor costs pushed up new home prices in St. Catharines-Niagara by 0.7 percent.
Prices in Vancouver, another hot market, edged up by 0.1 percent. The Alberta city of Calgary, which is sensitive to Canada's weakened energy sector, showed no change from July.
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 Chizu Nomiyama)
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