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Canadian new home prices come in flat for March

New home prices in Canada remained flat in March following a decline in the previous month, with prices rising in 13 surveyed cities but falling or unchanged in 14 markets, Canada's statistical agency said.

Builders in Ottawa reported a 1.3% gain in home prices for the month, the largest among 27 surveyed cities and the largest since April 2011, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency said higher demand and prices in Ottawa may be a function of growth in full-time employment and population, along with tightness in the resale market.

Calgary posted the largest price decline March, with builders citing weak market conditions and lower negotiated selling prices.

Over a 12-month period, new home prices rose 2.4% in March with Vancouver, London and Ottawa recording the largest gains at 8.4%, 7.7% and 5.8%, respectively. New home prices in Saskatoon decreased by 2.0%, the largest decline among five surveyed metropolitan areas reporting decreases.