March 12, 2008 / 12:22 AM / 10 years ago

Canada January new home prices rise 0.6 pct

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The price of new homes in Canada rose 0.6 percent in January from December, the second straight monthly increase after 16 months of declines, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

New home prices rose 6.5 percent in the year to January, up from an annual pace of 6.2 percent in December.

The increase beat expectations of analysts in a Reuters poll who had forecast, on average, an increase of 0.3 percent in the month.

The strength of the housing market was based in the Atlantic provinces in the east and in the central Prairie provinces, Statscan said.

The city of Saskatoon registered the fastest gain, with an annual gain in new home prices of 51.7 percent.

Canada has so far averted a U.S.-style housing crisis, maintaining healthy numbers for housing construction and prices.

Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Renato Andrade

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