OTTAWA Feb 14 Canadian home prices rose in
January as home values in the hot Toronto market climbed even
further, while those in Vancouver picked up after three months
of declines, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price
Index showed on Tuesday.
The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of
single-family homes, showed prices rose 0.5 percent last month
and 13.0 percent from a year ago.
It was the 12th consecutive month that national home prices
have risen and the largest annual increase since January 2007.
The monthly gain was driven by an 0.8 percent increase in
Toronto and a 1.1 percent rise in nearby Hamilton, where prices
have climbed as homebuyers have been shut out of the expensive
Toronto and Hamilton both racked up record annual increases
of 20.9 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively.
Canada's housing market has been robust in the years since
the global financial crisis, boosted by low borrowing rates.
The government tightened mortgage lending rules late last year
to rein in consumer borrowing, a move that is expected to cool
housing activity this year.
But recent data has suggested the housing market was off to
a strong start in 2017. Indeed, the rise in the Teranet index
signaled that prices have doubled since June 2005.
Prices in Vancouver rose 0.3 percent on the month,
suggesting the once-hot market could be perking back up. The
provincial government implemented a tax on foreign home buyers
in the city last year in an attempt to address affordability
issues, which took some of the steam out of the market.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)