UPDATE 1-Canada new home prices rise 0.2 pct in March

Thu May 8, 2014 8:34am EDT
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(Adds cities, background)

* New home prices rise 0.2 pct, matching forecasts

* Calgary biggest contributor with 0.8 percent increase

* Prices flat in 11 cities, down in five and up in five

OTTAWA, May 8 (Reuters) - The price of new homes in Canada rose 0.2 percent in March, with the oil-industry capital Calgary making the biggest contribution to the gain for the third straight month, according to Statistics Canada data on Thursday.

The monthly increase was in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll.

Year-on-year, prices nationwide were up by a modest 1.6 percent, within the 1 to 2 percent range registered over the previous year.

Calgary, located in the western oil-producing province of Alberta, led the way on new home prices and its 0.8 percent price jump was the biggest of any city.

Prices were flat in the Toronto-Oshawa region and in Montreal while they fell by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent in Vancouver and Victoria, respectively.   Continued...