June 14, 2012 / 12:48 PM / 5 years ago

Canada new home prices rise in April

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The prices of new homes in Canada rose 0.2 percent in April after a 0.3 percent gain in March, Statistics Canada said on Thursday amid other signs the country’s bubbling housing market is gradually cooling.

The increase was slightly below the 0.3 percent rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Compared with a year earlier, prices advanced 2.5 percent compared with a 2.6 percent year-on-year increase in March.

Price increases in the Toronto and Oshawa region and in Edmonton explained most of the monthly rise in the new housing price index, Statscan said. Toronto-Oshawa prices climbed 0.3 percent for a 5.9 percent annual jump.

A condominium boom in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has become the focus of policy maker concern as many new luxury condo projects remain unoccupied, raising the risk of a crash.

Low interest rates since the global financial crisis have contributed to a heated housing market and double-digit annual price increase in existing home sales, but recent data have shown property prices outside Toronto gradually cooling.

Overall, new housing prices rose in 11 metropolitan regions in April, were flat in seven and down in three.

Reporting By Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio

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