UPDATE 1-Canada new housing prices up 0.2 pct in Aug on Toronto strength
(Adds details of release, background)
OTTAWA Oct 13 (Reuters) - Canadian new housing prices rose by 0.2 percent in August from July, the 17th consecutive increase, on continued strength in the major market of Toronto, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a 0.3 percent gain.
Prices in the combined Toronto-Oshawa region, which accounts for 27.92 percent of the Canadian market, climbed by 0.7 percent. Builders cited market conditions and higher costs for materials as reasons for the gain.
Prices in Vancouver - another hot market - were unchanged from July. Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia, where the government imposed a 15 percent property transfer tax on foreign real estate buyers in August.
Statscan said builders had not cited the tax as a reason for the unchanged prices.
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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