November 9, 2017 / 1:33 PM / in 14 days

Canadian new home prices boosted by Vancouver gains; Toronto stalls

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian new home prices rose in September, lifted by gains in Vancouver, while prices in Toronto were unchanged for the fourth month in a row following provincial government measures to rein in the market, Statistics Canada data showed on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Construction equipment is parked at the bottom of a pit on the site of a new condominium complex off Redpath Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 1, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

Nationally, prices increased 0.2 percent from the previous month, matching economists’ forecasts, and were up 3.8 percent on the year. The new housing price index excludes apartments and condominiums.

The monthly gain was driven by a 0.7 percent increase in Vancouver, the country’s most expensive housing market. While the British Columbia government implemented a tax on foreign buyers in the city over a year ago, housing activity has picked back up in recent months.

Prices in Toronto, where the Ontario government imposed its own foreign buyers tax in April, were unchanged, though they were still up 6.4 percent from a year ago.

It was the longest run of flat prices for Canada’s largest city since a six-month period that began in September 2008, when the global financial crisis was taking hold, the statistics agency said.

Ontario’s government put a number of measures in place earlier this year to cool the Toronto market and surrounding areas, and other data have shown prices are down from their peak since then. Still, a monthly pick-up in sales in October suggests the market may be steadying.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Paul Simao

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