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OTTAWA (Reuters) - New housing prices in Canada fell 0.5 percent in March from February and were 2.4 percent lower than a year earlier for the third straight year-on-year decline, Statistics Canada said on Monday.
The monthly drop in prices was in line with the median forecast by analysts in a Reuters survey.
New home prices were flat or fell on a monthly basis in most major cities, with the exception of Montreal, Quebec and St. John's.
Builders in Alberta attributed the price drops to lower material and labor costs and lower lot prices from developers. In British Columbia, they cited intense competition and slow market conditions.
The housing market in Canada is softening alongside a deep economic contraction but has not experienced the dramatic crash seen in the United States.
* Statistics Canada report
Reporting by Louise Egan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama