Canada new housing prices up 0.2 percent; Toronto, Vancouver strong

A construction worker works on a new house being built in a suburb located north of Toronto in Vaughan, Canada, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - New home prices in Canada rose by 0.2 percent in February from January, pushed up by continuing strength in the major regions of Toronto and Vancouver, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a 0.1 percent increase from January. Compared with February 2015, prices grew by 1.8 percent.

The Toronto and Oshawa region, which accounts for 27.9 percent of the entire Canadian market, posted a 0.4 percent advance. Prices in Vancouver, which makes up 13.0 percent of the market, rose by 0.8 percent, the most since September 2009.

Builders in both regions cited new list prices and market conditions as the main reasons for strength.

The western city of Calgary, capital of Canada’s struggling energy industry, saw prices fall by 0.5 percent, the largest decline since July 2011.

The new housing price index excludes apartments and condominiums, which the government says are a particular cause for concern and which account for one-third of new housing.

Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by W Simon