OTTAWA (Reuters) - The prices of new homes in Canada rose by 0.3 percent in March from February, the 12th consecutive monthly increase, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
The increase was slightly greater than the 0.2 percent advance predicted by market operators. Compared with March 2011 the index rose by 2.6 percent, up from the 2.3 percent year-on-year growth recorded in February.
The metropolitan region of Toronto and Oshawa, representing 26.6 percent of the overall market, was the top contributor to the month-on-month advance, growing by 0.6 percent on good market conditions and increased demand.
The most significant monthly price decline was the 0.7 percent drop recorded in the British Columbia capital Victoria, where competitive market conditions prompted builders to lower their prices.
Overall, prices were up in 11 regions in March, held steady in seven, and dropped in three.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio