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Canadian home prices rise in May but cracks appear in underlying data - Metro US

Canadian home prices rise in May but cracks appear in underlying data

Workers guide equipment at a condominium development in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian home prices rose in May, led by the Ottawa-Gatineau and Toronto markets, but underlying numbers reflected a slowing in the housing market following measures taken to help contain the coronavirus pandemic, data showed on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which tracks data collected from public land registries to measure changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices were up 1.1% in May from April.

Prices rose in eight of the 11 metropolitan areas in the index, with the national capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau up 2.2% and Toronto, Canada’s most populous metropolitan area, gaining 2.1%.

Compared with the same month a year ago, the index climbed by 6%, its strongest pace since April 2018. It was the 10th consecutive month that the year-over-year gain accelerated, said Marc Pinsonneault, a senior economist at National Bank of Canada.

Still, a couple of underlying numbers, such as a 22% year-over-year drop in the number of repeat sales used to derive indexes, showed signs of a slowdown in the housing market, Pinsonneault said.

Restrictive measures to combat the pandemic began to lift in Canada in May, but data from land registries could lag the timing of sales transactions.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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