August 9, 2018 / 12:48 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Canada new housing prices rise for first time in seven months

(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Canadian new housing prices rose by 0.1 percent in June, the first gain in seven months, largely due to higher construction costs across the country, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The increase matched the forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. Tighter mortgage rules and higher interest rates have reduced demand in recent months, particularly in hot markets such as Toronto and Vancouver.

Statscan said the price of softwood lumber, widely used in home building, had risen by 34.3 percent since June 2017. Prices climbed in 11 of the 27 metropolitan areas surveyed, led by Montreal and Ottawa, while six reported declines.

Toronto prices, which have not risen since November 2017, stayed flat in June. Vancouver prices edged up by 0.2 percent, the first month-on-month advance in five months.

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 Nick Zieminski

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