Canadian home prices rise in June as Toronto keeps climbing: Teranet

A real estate sign that reads "For Sale" stands in front of housing in Vaughan, a suburb in Toronto, Canada, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in June as the cities of Toronto and Hamilton led the way with record increases despite provincial government efforts to rein in demand in the hot markets, data showed on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices rose 2.6 percent from May. It was the largest increase for the month of June in the 19-year history of the index, and took it to a record for the seventeenth month in a row.

Prices rose in 10 out of the 11 markets covered by the index, with Toronto up 3.7 percent and nearby Hamilton rising 4.1 percent. Hamilton has seen prices surge as homebuyers have been priced out of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

The housing data comes ahead of a Bank of Canada interest rate decision in which the central bank is expected to raise rates for the first time in nearly seven years. Some have blamed years of cheap borrowing costs for fueling Canada’s long housing boom.

In April, the Ontario government put a number of measures in place to cool the housing market in Toronto and the surrounding region, including a foreign buyers tax.

While other data has shown sales have tumbled since then, the Teranet report pointed to ongoing price acceleration.

Toronto prices were up 29.3 percent from a year ago, while Hamilton was up 25.6 percent.

In the once-hot market of Vancouver, where provincial authorities imposed their own foreign buyers tax last year, prices rose 2.5 percent on the month to hit a record after cooling through late 2016.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chris Reese