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Canadian home price index rises for 7th month

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Canadian home resale prices rose in June, their seventh consecutive monthly rise and the biggest jump since August 2009, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes in six metropolitan areas, showed overall prices were up 1.7 percent in June from May.

Overall prices were up 4.5 percent from a year earlier.

The gain took the index to a new high of 144.27, with prices up for the third straight month in all six of the metropolitan markets surveyed.

"What is new is that in all six markets the June monthly rise was at least 1 percent, a first since April 2005. It was 2.0 percent in Toronto, 1.7 percent in Vancouver and Ottawa, 1.6 percent in Calgary, 1.1 percent in Montreal and 1.0 percent in Halifax," Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist at National Bank Financial, wrote in the report.

For five of the six metropolitan areas, the indexes were at all-time highs. The exception was Calgary, which is still 10.9 percent off the high of August 2007.

The 12-month gain of 4.5 percent, barely more than the 4.4 percent of April and May.

"It may seem surprising that 12-month inflation has not been accelerating in step with the recent pace of monthly increases. The reason is that in May and June 2010 the composite index was gaining more than 1 percent monthly," Pinsonneault noted.

In July, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, market conditions were balanced in the country as a whole, but tight in Toronto.

The index tracks home prices over time for repeat sales, so properties with at least two sales are required in the calculations. The report did not provide actual prices.

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