OTTAWA (Reuters) - New housing prices in Canada rose by 0.3 percent in August from July, the largest advance in seven months, on strong gains in two of the biggest metropolitan areas, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Market analysts had expected a 0.1 percent rise. The month-on-month gain was the largest since the 0.3 percent increase seen in January.
The combined region of Toronto and Oshawa - which accounts for 28 percent of the entire market - was the biggest contributor to the overall gain, rising 0.3 percent on better list prices and market conditions.
Prices in Calgary, capital of Canada's booming energy industry, rose by 0.5 percent from July on land development costs, strong market conditions and higher demand.
Month-on-month, prices were up seven of the 21 major metropolitan regions, down in seven and unchanged in seven. Prices were 1.5 percent higher than in August 2013.
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.
(This version of the October 9 story corrects proportion of housing not covered by the index to one-third from two-thirds in the last paragraph.)
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama