OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in May as Toronto remained robust despite recent government efforts to cool the market, while prices in Vancouver picked back up to hit a fresh peak, data showed on Wednesday.
The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices rose 2.2 percent last month.
Prices were higher in all 11 cities included in the index, led by a 3.6 percent increase in Toronto and a 3.1 percent rise in nearby Hamilton.
While other recent data suggested activity in the Toronto market cooled in May, Wednesday’s report pointed to accelerating price growth in the resale market.
Compared with a year ago, prices were up 28.7 percent in Toronto and 23.5 percent in Hamilton, a record for both. For Toronto, Canada’s largest city, it was the fourteenth consecutive month of acceleration in home prices on an annual basis, the report said.
Amid worries of overheating, the Ontario government announced measures at the end of April to try to rein in price gains in Toronto and the surrounding areas, including a foreign buyers tax.
Prices rose 1.5 percent on the month in Vancouver, bringing the city’s price index to a new peak. Still, the annual pace of gains slowed to 8.2 percent.
The British Columbia provincial government imposed its own foreign buyers tax in Vancouver last summer, which helped cool the West Coast market, but there are signs the market is rebounding.
The Bank of Canada warned last week that rising consumer debt levels and an unbalanced housing market have raised household vulnerabilities.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Matthew Lewis