UPDATE 1-Canada new housing price index stays tame in May

Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:39am EDT

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* Index rises 0.1 pct from April; analysts expected 0.2 pct

* House and land prices each rose 0.2 pct from April

* Difference explained by rounding

* Annual increase 1.8 pct in May, 2.0 pct in April

OTTAWA, July 11 (Reuters) - The price of new houses in Canada rose by 0.1 percent in May from April, slightly less than expected but extending a string of increases to 26 months, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

It followed a 0.2 percent rise in April, and was just below the median forecast of analysts surveyed by Reuters of a 0.2 percent rise in May.

The data showed the anomaly of the house and land components each rising 0.2 percent while the overall increase was 0.1 percent. This was due to rounding, Statistics Canada said.

The annual increase fell to 1.8 percent in May from 2.0 percent in April.

The Canadian government imposed tighter mortgage rules a year ago, and while financial authorities have said there were still signs that values were stretched in some areas, there had been a constructive evolution of the housing market.

While the new housing price increases have been relatively tame, the index excludes condominiums, which have been of particular concern to policymakers.

The Toronto area showed a 0.2 percent increase in new housing prices on the month and 2.6 percent on the year. Vancouver, which has also been of concern, was down 0.2 percent on the month and 0.7 percent on the year.

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