Resale home price index up for 11th month

Wed May 26, 2010 10:48am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home resale prices climbed in March for an 11th straight month but the gain was one of the smallest since prices began rising last year, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed overall prices rose 0.3 percent in March from February.

"The broad slowing of monthly gains is consistent with a general loosening of resale-market conditions across the country. For some months now, homes have been coming on the market faster than they have been selling," the report said.

March's gain was only a tick ahead of February's 0.2 percent increase, which was the smallest monthly gain since the end of a recession-induced price slump.

The report tracks six metropolitan areas: Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax. The index has been rising for almost a year.

Prices in four of the markets rose from the month before, led by a 1.4 percent gain in Halifax. Montreal and Vancouver both advanced 0.6 percent, and Ottawa climbed 0.1 percent.

Toronto prices were little changed on the month.

Calgary fell for a third month in a row, with March prices down 0.3 percent from the month before.

The index offers more evidence that Canada's real estate market could soon start to cool.   Continued...