UPDATE 1-Canadian home prices rise in July, helped by Toronto, Vancouver
(Adds details from report, background)
OTTAWA Aug 12 (Reuters) - Canadian home prices climbed in July, driven by gains in some of the country's hottest markets, including Toronto and Vancouver, a home price index showed on Friday.
Prices rose 2.0 percent last month from June, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, and were up 10.9 percent from a year earlier. The index measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes.
It was the second-largest July increase the index has seen since it began in 1999, the report said.
Prices rose in seven of 11 cities.
In Vancouver, which has seen eighteen months without a decline, prices were up 2.3 percent. The city implemented a tax on foreign home buyers earlier this month in an attempt to improve affordability for residents.
Prices were up 3.1 percent in Toronto, the fourteenth increase in the last 15 months.
Prices were flat in Edmonton and down 0.1 percent in Calgary, with both cities hurt by the slump in oil prices.
Canada's housing market has been robust in the years since the global financial crisis, spurred in part by low borrowing costs. But it has become more fragmented, with oil-sensitive regions slowing and Toronto and Vancouver continuing to rise.
The rapid price gain in the two major cities has caused concern the markets there are becoming overheated and the Bank of Canada has warned about possible speculation.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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