Canadian home prices rise for fourth straight month in August

FILE PHOTO: Houses under construction are seen at a subdivision near the town of Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, while the annual increase in prices picked up for the first time in nine months, data on Thursday showed.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed that prices rose 0.4% last month from July.

The index was also higher when seasonally adjusted, which was not so in May, June and July, said Marc Pinsonneault, a senior economist at National Bank of Canada.

The Bank of Canada said earlier this month that activity in Canada’s housing market has recovered more quickly than expected, helped by lower mortgage rates.

Activity had been restrained by the introduction of tighter mortgage rules at the start of 2018.

Still, the August increase was below the average for the month seen over 21 years covered by the index.

Compared to the same month one-year ago, the index gained 0.6%. It was led by a 6.4% advance for the capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau.

For Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, the year-over-year increase was 3.8%. Meanwhile, some markets in western Canada were a drag on the index, including Vancouver which was down 6.6%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith