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OTTAWA (Reuters) - New home prices were unchanged in May from the previous month and rose 4.1 percent from a year earlier, showing the tamest annual increase in six years as real estate markets in the west softened, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters survey had expected a 0.1 percent climb in prices. May was the second straight months in which new housing prices did not change. The annual price growth fell from 5.2 percent in April.
Housing prices in the resource-rich provinces of Alberta and British Columbia are coming down from red-hot growth earlier. In Calgary, for example, prices climbed just 0.6 percent in May year-on-year compared with a rate of 60.6 percent in August 2006.
Price increases also declined, while remaining high, in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Edmonton, Alberta, as well as in British Columbia's biggest cities of Vancouver and Victoria.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the only western city where the increase in new house prices sped up in May, with contractors' prices jumping 16.1 percent from May 2007.
* Statistics Canada report
Reporting by Louise Egan