October 27, 2010 / 2:50 PM / 7 years ago

Teranet home price index edges up in August

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home resale prices rose in August by the smallest amount since the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index began climbing 16 months ago, data showed on Wednesday.

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed overall prices rose 0.2 percent in August from July. But prices fell in Calgary and Vancouver, and Toronto recorded its smallest gain in months.

It was the second straight month that prices did not rise across all six markets that the index tracks.

The Calgary index slipped 0.5 percent in the month, while Vancouver fell for a second straight month, down 0.4 percent.

That was offset by a gain of 0.5 percent in Montreal, a 0.9 percent rise in Halifax, and an index-leading 1.4 percent advance in Ottawa. The Toronto monthly rise was 0.4 percent, the smallest in five months.

Prices were up 10.4 percent from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month gain in six months.

The data is in line with other indicators that showed the housing sector has been cooling steadily in recent months. The sector helped pull Canada’s economy out of recession, but it waned as pent-up demand was absorbed and interest rates rose.

TD Bank economist Shahrzad Mobasher Fard said he expected the prospects for any acceleration in price growth to be limited, due to the slowing economy and a less consumer-driven environment.

The Teranet index tracks repeat sales to measure home prices over time, so its calculations are based on properties with at least two sales. The report gave no actual prices.

Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Janet Guttsman

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