April 15, 2009 / 3:03 PM / 10 years ago

CORRECTED - Canada home resale prices drop in March, sales up

(Corrects third paragraph to show 14 of 25 major markets — instead of 16 of 25 — saw prices fall year over year. Also corrects to show Greater Vancouver, not St. Catharines, Ontario, posted the biggest year-over-year drop in home prices. Corrects figures in fourth paragraph.)

TORONTO, April 15 (Reuters) - Resale house prices in Canada fell 7.7 percent in March from a year earlier, but sales rose from February, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Wednesday.

The average home price in Canada was C$288,641 ($238,546) in March, down from C$312,852 a year earlier, CREA said.

Home prices were lower in 14 of 25 major markets that the association measures, led by Greater Vancouver. The average price of a home in Greater Vancouver, which had seen a very sharp runup in prices in the past few years, was C$530,763 in March, down 13.9 percent from a year earlier.

The biggest increase in home prices was in the Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador, up 24.3 percent from a year earlier to C$198.057.

But the average national price “continues to be skewed downward” because of fewer transactions at the higher end of the spectrum, CREA said.

Nationally, 31,135 homes were sold in March, up 7 percent from February on a seasonally adjusted basis and building on February’s 10.3 percent rise from January.

British Columbia posted the largest increase in sales, up 13.6 percent, and Ontario followed with a 10.5 percent rise.

On a year-over-year basis, sales were down 20 percent in March on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Actual sales fell 13.7 percent, the smallest year-over-year decline in six months.

$1=$1.21 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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