TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home prices fell in February for the fifth straight month as most major markets weakened, data showed on Wednesday.
The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices fell 0.4 percent last month from January.
Except for 2009, when there was a global financial crisis, the decline was the largest for February in 19 years of index history, said Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist at National Bank of Canada.
Prices fell in nine of the 11 markets in the index. It included a 2 percent drop in Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city. In Hamilton, a city in Ontario where much of Canada’s steel is produced, prices were down 1.4 percent.
Canada’s once-hot housing market has softened since the start of last year, weighed by tighter mortgage rules and five interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada since July 2017.
Prices rose 1.9 percent in February on an annual basis, led by a 6 percent increase in the capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau. In Montreal, prices were up 5.2 percent year-over-year.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Chris Reese