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New home prices creep higher in August

New home prices edged up 0.1 percent in August for the second straight month, showing more moderate increases than in the second quarter, according to Statistics Canada data released on Wednesday.

Prices rose 2.3 percent in the 12 months to August and since mid-2010 have been well above pre-recession levels of 2008.

The monthly gain in August matched expectations of analysts in a Reuters poll. New housing prices had also climbed 0.1 percent in July after recording monthly increases of between 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent in the April-June period.

The Toronto and Oshawa metropolitan region contributed most to the rise in the new housing price index in August, while Regina, in the Western Prairies region, registered the biggest monthly increase.

The biggest price drops were in the West Coast cities of Vancouver and Victoria, where prices have soared so much recently that the Bank of Canada has suggested there may be a housing bubble forming there.

Prices rose in 10 metropolitan regions, fell in five and were flat in six.

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