Canadian home prices rise in July but market still slow

OTTAWA, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in July, led by the Quebec City and Ottawa-Gatineau markets, though it was the smallest July advance in 15 years, data showed on Thursday, confirming the slowing of the housing market in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which tracks data collected from public land registries to measure changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices were up 0.3% in July from June.

If the index was corrected for seasonal pressures, there would have been a decline of 0.3% in July, the second consecutive monthly decline, said Marc Pinsonneault, a senior economist at the National Bank of Canada.

Prices rose in nine of the 11 metropolitan areas in the index, with the Quebec City region up 1.4% and the government hub of Ottawa-Gatineau gaining 1.2%. The index was flat for Vancouver and slipped 0.3% in Victoria.

Compared with the same month a year ago, the index climbed by 5.5%, the second consecutive month of year-over-year deceleration, said Pinsonneault.

The number of repeat sales used to derive indexes fell 20% year-over-year, reflecting a decline in home sales due to physical distancing measures to stem the spread of COVID-19. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)