March 8, 2018 / 1:41 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Canada January new housing prices flat for second month in a row

(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, March 8 (Reuters) - Canadian new home prices were unchanged for the second month in a row in January, in part due to weakness in Toronto, the country’s single largest market, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected prices to rise by 0.1 percent from December. January marked the first time in exactly three years that home prices have stayed flat for two consecutive months.

In Toronto, which represents 27.9 percent of the overall market in Canada, prices slipped by 0.1 percent, the first decline since July 2014.

Last April the Ontario provincial government announced measures to cool the market in the city and surrounding areas. Statscan said higher mortgage rates may also have helped moderate prices nationally.

In Vancouver, another hot market where authorities have intervened, prices were flat.

The new housing price index excludes apartments and condominiums, which the government says are a particular cause for concern over overheated prices and which account for one-third of new housing.

Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Frances Kerry

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