* New housing prices rise 0.2 pct in October
* Toronto is biggest contributor to gain
OTTAWA, Dec 13 Prices of new homes in Canada
rose for the 19th consecutive month in October, climbing by a
faster-than-expected 0.2 percent from September on continued
strength in Toronto and Montreal, Statistics Canada said on
Analysts had expected a 0.1 percent rise in the new housing
Prices for new homes in the Toronto-Oshawa metropolitan
region, which accounts for 26.6 percent of the entire Canadian
market, rose by 0.3 percent in the month and were up 4.9 percent
on the year.
The second highest year-on-year increase was in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, where prices climbed 3.9 percent in the period.
Overall, new housing prices rose in eight of the
metropolitan areas surveyed in October, were unchanged in eleven
and down in two areas.
Prices in October increased by 2.4 percent from October
The Canadian government, which imposed tighter mortgage
rules in July, and the Bank of Canada have long expressed
concerns the housing market might overheat. Ottawa says it is
too soon to judge the full effect of the new rules.
The new housing price index excludes condominiums, which the
government says are a particular cause for concern.