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Canadian home prices gains accelerate in February

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FILE PHOTO: A row of houses stand in a subdivision in East Gwillimbury, Ontario

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian home prices accelerated in February, rising 0.5% from January with all 11 major markets rising on the year for the first time since 2018, data showed on Wednesday.

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 price gains in seven of the 11 major metropolitan markets.

Prices rose 2.3% in Halifax, 1.1% in Hamilton and 0.8% in Vancouver, but the index was down 0.1% in Edmonton and fell 0.5% in Ottawa-Gatineau.

On an annual basis, the index was up 9.8% in February, the seventh consecutive monthly acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since September 2017.

Ottawa-Gatineau continued to lead year-over-year gains, up 19.0% from February 2020, followed by Halifax at 18.7% and Hamilton at 18.1%. Calgary was up 0.8%, its first annual gain since June 2018, though it remained well below its 2014 peak.

Teranet also has indexes for seven smaller cities just outside the Greater Toronto Area, which posted year-on-year gains ranging from 17.2% to 23.1%. Toronto, by comparison, was up 10.1% on the year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association upped its forecast for home resales in 2021 earlier this week as Canadian home sales and prices continued to surge in February.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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