OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian new home prices rose less than expected in August as prices were unchanged in a number of markets, including the cities of Toronto and Vancouver, which have been the country's hottest regions, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
The 0.1 percent increase in national prices from the previous month was shy of forecasts for a gain of 0.3 percent. The index excludes apartments and condominiums.
Prices were unchanged in 15 of the 27 markets surveyed, including Toronto, where prices were flat for the third month in a row.
Home sales and prices in Canada's largest city have cooled from their April peak since the Ontario government imposed a number of measures to rein in the hot market, including a foreign buyers tax.
Prices were also unchanged in Vancouver after five consecutive months of increases, the statistics agency said. Vancouver has had its own foreign buyers tax since last August, which initially dampened activity, though prices have been heading higher again.
Canada has had a long housing boom, partly fueled by lower borrowing costs in the wake of the global financial crisis. Two interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada this year are expected to weigh on the market.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Susan Thomas)