* New housing prices increase for 23rd consecutive month
* Western energy city of Calgary biggest reason for rise
OTTAWA, April 11 New home prices in Canada rose
by 0.2 percent in February, the 23rd consecutive month-on-month
increase, pushed up by a buoyant market in the western city of
Calgary, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
The advance matched analysts' expectations. Calgary prices
rose 1.0 percent from January - the largest month-over-month
increase since May 2007 - on higher material and labor costs.
Calgary is the center of Canada's booming energy industry.
Overall, prices rose in 10 cities, stayed unchanged in nine
and fell in two. On a year-over-year basis new housing prices in
Canada rose by 2.1 percent in February, down from 2.2 percent in
The Canadian government, which imposed tighter mortgage
rules last July, and the Bank of Canada have long expressed
concerns the housing market might overheat.
The new housing price index excludes condominiums, which the
government says are a particular cause for concern.