OTTAWA (Reuters) - New home prices in Canada edged up 0.1 percent in December from November, pushed up by strength in the major regions of Toronto and Vancouver, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Market analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 percent gain. Compared with December 2014, prices grew by 1.6 percent.
The Toronto and Oshawa region, which accounts for 28.8 percent of the overall Canadian market, and Vancouver both posted 0.2 percent advances. Builders in both markets cited new list prices as a major reason for growth.
There was no change in prices in Calgary, capital of Canada’s energy industry, where the housing market has been hard hit by a slump in oil. Prices dropped by 0.9 percent from December 2014.
Prices increased in seven of the 21 metropolitan areas, were unchanged in 11 and fell in three.
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 David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum