March 9, 2011 / 1:59 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Canada new home prices hit record high in January

* New home prices rise 0.2 pct in Jan, beat expectations

* Prices increase in 9 cities, flat in 9 and down in 3 (Adds further detail)

OTTAWA, March 9 (Reuters) - New home prices in Canada climbed 0.2 percent in January from December, beating expectations and once again setting a record high, according to Statistics Canada data released on Wednesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll forecast a 0.1 percent increase in the month, following a 0.1 percent gain in December. Compared with January 2010, prices were up 1.9 percent, easing from a 2.1 percent year-on-year gain in December.

Prices rose the most in Winnipeg, up by 0.7 percent as builders introduced new list prices at the start of the year, Statscan said.

Prices climbed in nine of the 21 cities surveyed, with gains recorded in Toronto and Oshawa as well as Quebec and Montreal. Prices were flat in nine cities and edged down in three.

The housing only component of the new housing price index rose 0.3 percent in the month, while the land only component edged up 0.1 percent.

After taking a brief hit from the financial crisis, Canada’s housing market recorded double digit price gains in late 2009 and early 2010. It seemed to cool as the Bank of Canada raised interest rates and the government took steps to tighten mortgage rules.

Earlier this week Statscan reported that the overall value of Canadian building permits dropped by 5.1 percent in January from December on a drop in condominium building intentions. [ID:nN07300319] (Reporting by Howaida Sorour and Chandra Ramarathnam; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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