January 8, 2015 / 4:59 PM / 4 years ago

Toronto demand helps lift Canada new home prices in September

OTTAWA (Reuters) - (This November 2013 story was refiled as, in last paragraph it corrects the proportion of housing not covered by the index to one-third from two-thirds)

New housing prices in Canada edged up by 0.1 percent in September, lifted by strong demand in the Toronto area, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Still, the gain was short of analysts’ expectations for a rise of 0.2 percent, after a 0.3 percent increase in August.

The region of Toronto and Oshawa was the biggest contributor, with prices up 0.3 percent as builders cited new list prices on strong demand and improved market conditions. The region accounts for 28 percent of the entire market.

London saw the largest monthly increase, rising 0.5 percent. Prices fell 0.3 percent in Montreal, the largest decline for the city since December 2010.

Overall, prices were up on a monthly basis in eight of the 21 major metropolitan regions, while seven regions were down and six were unchanged. Prices were up 1.6 percent from a year ago, slightly stronger than August’s 1.5 percent annual pace.

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 Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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