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Canada's resale home prices see first annual rise in 10months

OTTAWA -- Resale prices for Canadian homes rose for a sixth consecutive month in October -- and were up on an annual basis for the first time in nearly a year -- as the country’s real estate market continued to recover from recessionary lows, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank resale house price index of major markets increased 1.27% during the month from September. Year-over-year, prices were up 0.57% -- marking the first rise in 10 months.

“Prices have now risen 1% or more for five months in a row,” said Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist at National Bank Financial. “In October, however, the monthly rise varied significantly among the six metropolitan markets surveyed.”

The biggest monthly price gains were recorded in Toronto (1.6%), Vancouver (1.8%) and Calgary (0.8%), the index showed.

More modest increases were noted in Halifax (0.4%), Ottawa (0.3%) and Montreal (0.3%). “In each of these three cities, the monthly appreciation was the smallest since market bottom -- except for one monthly decline each in Montreal and Halifax,” said Mr. Pinsonneault.

Vancouver prices, however, remain 4.1% below their peak of June 2008, while Calgary is still down 11.3% from the high reached in August 2007.

Millan Mulraine, economics strategist at TD Securities, said that “while the pickup in this indicator is not entirely surprising, the slow turnaround in the indicator appears to be at odds with the other Canadian home price measures (which show a more profound uptick in Canadian home prices) and the recent sharp upswing in housing market activity.”

The Teranet-National Bank price index is based on homes that have sold at least twice. The survey does not provide specific sales figures.