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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Canadian home prices rise further

Residential property prices in Canada continued to increase in January, led by gains in Toronto’s red-hot housing market, fresh figures show.

The latest Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, has revealed that Canadian home prices in January rose 0.5% month-to-month and 13% from a year ago.

It was the 12th month in a row that national property prices have increased and the largest annual rise for a decade.

The monthly gain in property prices was driven by a 0.8% increase in Toronto, which recorded its 12th consecutive monthly increase, and a 1.1% rise in nearby Hamilton, where prices have climbed owed in part to the fact that many homebuyers have been priced out of the expensive Toronto market.

Toronto and Hamilton saw record annual rises of 20.9% and 17.6%, respectively.

Canada’s housing market has been robust since the global financial crisis, supported by record-low borrowing rates. But some metropolitan areas are expected to experience modest price declines in the coming months, following the government’s decision to introduce more stringent mortgage lending rules late last year in a bid to curb investor activity in the market.

Government measures are widely expected to slow housing activity in Canada this year, but the latest data has suggested that the property market has started the year strongly in 2017.

Property prices in Vancouver, for instance, increased by 0.3% on the month, suggesting the previously hot market could be spring back into life following recent falls. The provincial government imposed a tax on overseas property purchasers in the city last year to address affordability issues, which took some steam out of the market.

Prices in Vancouver have increased by 16.4% over the past year, but are currently 2.5% below the peak reached in September 2016, Teranet said.

Overall, prices increased in seven of the 11 markets surveyed; Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton, Montreal, Victoria, Calgary and Quebec City, while prices in Halifax were flat.

Property prices dropped in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Edmonton.

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