August 12, 2015 / 12:51 PM / 4 years ago

Canadian home prices rise in July to hit another record

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in July from the previous month, the seventh consecutive monthly increase, to hit another record level despite weakness in nearly half of the cities surveyed, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Wednesday.

Realtors' signs are hung outside a newly sold property in a Vancouver neighbourhood where houses regularly sell for C$3-C$4 million ($2.7-3.6 million) September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Julie Gordon

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed national home prices rose 1.2 percent last month from June. Prices were up 5.1 percent from a year earlier to a record high.

Canada’s two-speed housing market continued, with price gains in six of 11 cities surveyed, including the two largest cities, Vancouver and Toronto, where prices have recently hit a record high nearly every month.

That offset losses including those in the energy heartland cities of Calgary and Edmonton, where a drop in oil prices has sapped demand.

From June, prices were up 2.7 percent in Hamilton, 2.4 percent in Toronto, 2.3 percent in Ottawa, 1.7 percent in Victoria, 1.6 percent in Vancouver and 0.3 percent in Montreal.

Prices were down on the month by 1.9 percent in Calgary, 1.0 percent in Halifax, 0.7 percent in Edmonton, 0.6 percent in Quebec City and 0.5 percent in Winnipeg.

Compared to a year earlier, prices were up 5.1 percent in July, matching June’s year-over-year gain.

Low interest rates have continued to fuel housing demand in key markets, despite persistent forecasts for a slowdown or a U.S.-style collapse after a six-year boom. The Bank of Canada has cut rates twice this year to support an economy hurt by falling oil prices.

Still, there are signs of a slowdown, with housing starts falling more than expected in July to a more sustainable level consistent with demographic demand, a separate report showed on Tuesday.

Compared to July 2014, prices were up 9.9 percent in Vancouver, 8.4 percent in Toronto, 6.7 percent in Hamilton, 3.9 percent in Victoria, 1.9 percent in Edmonton, 0.9 percent in Winnipeg, 0.6 percent in Quebec City, and 0.5 percent in Ottawa.

Prices in Calgary were down 2.3 percent compared to a year earlier, and down 0.6 percent in Halifax.

Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Chris Reese

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