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Canada home prices up in July

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A house for sale in Toronto. Prices in Toronto were up 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis.

Ottawa

CANADIAN home prices rose in July from June on broad-based gains in most parts of Canada, but the price increases were small compared with historical averages for the month, data showed on Tuesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed that prices increased 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis.

Prices rose in 10 of the 11 markets surveyed, as in May and June, Teranet said. Calgary prices were flat.

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But while the published index - which measures non-seasonally adjusted sales - has risen four months in a row, the seasonally adjusted index declined for a fourth straight month, Teranet said.

"This means that the recent monthly rises in the published index reflected only seasonal pressures instead of an underlying trend," Teranet said in the report.

Price gains continued to decelerate on an annual basis, up 1.8 per cent from July 2017, the smallest 12-month increase since 2013 and the 13th consecutive monthly slowdown from last June's record 12-month gain of 14.2 per cent.

Prices in Toronto were up 0.8 per cent on a monthly basis, suggesting stabilising prices in the country's biggest city following recent declines after the provincial government adopted measures to rein in the market, as well as tighter mortgage rules that took effect at the start of 2018.

The Toronto index is down 4.0 per cent from its peak in July 2017, Teranet said.

Vancouver prices gained 0.4 per cent in the month, taking the index to a new record.

Still, recent gains have been smaller than before, consistent with slower sales. Compared to a year ago, Vancouver prices are up 10.6 per cent.

Canada's once-hot housing market has softened in the wake of four interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada since July 2017, though the condo markets in both Toronto and Vancouver have remained robust, and the central bank said that housing markets may have begun to stabilise after a weak start to 2018. REUTERS