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Report on Business Canadian home prices drop in February, marking a fifth straight month of declines

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver on June 12, 2018.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Canadian home prices fell in February for the fifth straight month as most major markets weakened, data showed on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices fell 0.4 per cent last month from January.

Except for 2009, when there was a global financial crisis, the decline was the largest for February in 19 years of index history, said Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist at National Bank of Canada.

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Prices fell in nine of the 11 markets in the index. It included a 2-per-cent drop in Victoria. In Hamilton, a city in Ontario where much of Canada’s steel is produced, prices were down 1.4 per cent.

Canada’s once-hot housing market has softened since the start of last year, weighed by tighter mortgage rules and five interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada since July, 2017.

Prices rose 1.9 per cent in February on an annual basis, led by a 6-per-cent increase in the capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau. In Montreal, prices were up 5.2 per cent year-over-year.

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