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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home prices fell in November from October, their first monthly decline in a year, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Friday.
The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices fell 0.3 percent nationally last month. They were still up 5.2 percent from a year earlier.
Mazen Issa, senior Canada macro strategist at TD Securities, said the data showed "a necessary breather" in this year's run-up in prices.
"But we do not foresee a protracted period of lower prices, with interest rates mired near historical lows and no inclination from the Bank of Canada to use monetary policy to reduce excesses in the housing market," Issa said in a note to clients. "The more likely path for home prices in 2015 is to grind higher yet again."
Analysts do not expect Canada's central bank to raise rates until the second half of 2015. [CA/POLL]
Canada escaped the U.S. housing crash that accompanied the 2008-09 financial crisis, and home prices have risen sharply, if not steadily, over the past five years despite the federal government's moves to tighten mortgage lending rules.
The Teranet data showed prices fell in November from the month before in eight out of 11 cities.
The monthly slump was led by a 1.6 percent drop in Halifax, a 1.5 percent fall in Quebec City, and a 1.0 percent decline in Montreal. Prices fell 0.7 percent in Winnipeg, 0.6 percent in Ottawa and 0.3 percent in Toronto, Calgary and Victoria.
Home prices were flat in Hamilton and Vancouver, and they rose in only one market, a 1.1 percent increase in Edmonton.
By contrast, eight of the 11 cities showed year-over-year price gains.
On that basis, prices were up 1.4 percent in Calgary, 6.2 percent in Edmonton, 7.0 percent in Hamilton, 0.6 percent in Montreal, 7.3 percent in Toronto, 5.9 percent in Vancouver, 1.4 percent in Victoria and 1.5 percent in Winnipeg.
They were down 1.8 percent in Halifax, 0.2 percent in Ottawa and 0.3 percent in Quebec City.
Additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn