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A real estate sold sign is shown outside a house in Vancouver in this file photo.

Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada's federal housing agency says the average scheduled monthly mortgage payment for new loans climbed to $1,328 in the fourth quarter of 2016, up 4.6 per cent from $1,269 a year ago.

The increase came as house prices continued to rise, particularly in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver and their surrounding areas.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the fact that the average scheduled monthly payment is growing faster than inflation is concerning because it suggests that homeowners could struggle to make their payments going forward.

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In Toronto, the average payment was $1,826 during the fourth quarter of last year, up 11.5 per cent from $1,638 a year prior.

In Vancouver, it rose by 4.5 per cent to $1,936 from $1,853 in the fourth quarter of 2015.

CMHC, which obtained the data from credit monitoring agency Equifax, says mortgage delinquency rates during the fourth quarter of 2016 were 0.34 per cent nationwide compared with 0.35 per cent a year earlier.

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