* New home price index up 0.1 pct in Dec vs November
* Average annual increase in 2013 1.8 pct, slowest since
* Prices flat in 11 cities; Toronto-Oshawa up 0.2 pct
OTTAWA, Feb 13 New home prices in Canada climbed
0.1 percent in December from November, as expected, for an
average annual increase in 2013 of 1.8 percent, the slowest
since 1999, according to Statistics Canada data released on
The monthly advance matched the median forecast in a Reuters
poll of analysts and reinforces the view that the country's
housing market is stabilizing after a recent boom.
The closely-watched Toronto-Oshawa region was the top
contributor to the monthly advance in the new housing price
index with a gain of 0.2 percent in December and of 1.4 percent
Vancouver, another hot market for real estate, saw a 0.1
percent monthly decline in prices and a 1.1 percent decline from
a year earlier.
Nationwide, prices rose 1.3 percent in the 12 months to
December, down from 1.4 percent in November and the fifth
straight month of slowing growth.
Overall, prices were unchanged in 11 metropolitan regions,
down in five and up in five.
The Canadian government has intervened in the mortgage
market several times since 2008 to cool the sector, and most
economists expect a gradual softening rather than a U.S.-style
The new housing price index excludes condominiums, which the
government says are a particular cause for concern.