April 12, 2017 / 12:30 PM / in 7 months

Toronto, Vancouver drive Canadian March home prices up - Teranet

OTTAWA, April 12 (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in March as prices continued to climb in major cities in Ontario and British Columbia, according to data released on Wednesday which was likely to add to concerns about affordability in some parts of the country.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices rose 0.9 percent last month. It was the largest March increase in 10 years, the report said.

Compared with a year ago, prices jumped 13.5 percent, the biggest 12-month increase since November 2006.

Higher prices in Toronto once again helped drive the national figures, with home prices in the city rising 1.8 percent, the 14th consecutive monthly gain. Prices were up a record 24.8 percent from a year ago.

Accelerating prices in Toronto have raised fears that its housing market may be in a bubble. Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to meet with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa to discuss housing affordability.

Prices rose 2.1 percent on a monthly basis in nearby Hamilton, where real estate has become more expensive as buyers are priced out of Toronto.

In Vancouver, prices gained 0.9 percent, leaving them just 0.2 percent below the peak hit last September. Prices were up 12.2 percent from the year before, slightly lower than the national average. Activity in the city has cooled since a foreign buyers tax was implemented last August.

Price gains were more robust in the British Columbia capital of Victoria, up 1.0 percent on the month and 18.0 percent on the year. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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