June 8, 2017 / 12:39 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-Canada April new house prices jump 0.8 pct as Toronto surges

(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, June 8 (Reuters) - New housing prices in Canada jumped by 0.8 percent in April from March, the biggest gain in almost a year, amid keen buyer interest in the hot markets of Toronto and Vancouver, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The monthly increase was the biggest since the 0.8 percent advance recorded in May 2016. Compared to April 2016, new house prices leapt by 3.9 percent, the highest year-on-year since the 4.1 percent seen in May 2008.

The data will undoubtedly fuel worries about a potential housing bubble in Vancouver and Toronto, where prices grew by the most in 28 years. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz last month said hefty Toronto home prices increases were not sustainable.

Prices in Toronto, which accounts for 25.49 percent of the Canadian market, surged by 2.1 percent, the highest month-on-month advance since the 2.8 percent recorded in March 1989. Builders cited a shortage of developed land as one reason.

Vancouver prices climbed by 1.2 percent, their second consecutive advance. Vancouver is the largest city in the Pacific province of British Columbia, where the government imposed a 15 percent property transfer tax on foreign real estate buyers last August.

The 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 Chizu Nomiyama

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