Canada’s real estate industry organization says the number of homes sold in March plunged 22.7% and the national average price was down 10.4% from the same month last year.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says the sales activity marked a four-year low for the month of March and was 7% below the 10-year average.

The national average price for all types of residential property was about $491,000, which was down 10.4% from March of last year—with the Vancouver and Toronto markets causing most of the drag.

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Excluding Canada’s two most expensive real estate markets, the national average price would be $383,000—a decline of 2% from March 2017.

March had the third consecutive double-digit decline compared with the comparable months last year, when prices in the Greater Toronto Area soared to record highs.

CREA says activity was below year-ago levels in more than 80% of all local markets, in all major urban centres except for Montreal and Ottawa, with the vast majority of year-over-year declines well into double digits.

More housing data

According to a Friday release from Royal LePage, home prices in Canada experienced slowing year-over-year increases in the first three months of 2018.

On a quarter-over-quarter basis for the same period, home prices in many markets across the country remained relatively flat, with approximately half of the markets studied by Royal LePage posting slight declines,” the release says, citing the results of the company’s house price survey.

Out of the 63 real estate markets measured, Royal LePage found “declines were most prevalent in the Greater Toronto Area, and to a lesser degree in the Greater Vancouver detached home segment.” Dips in demand that are weighing on home prices, it says, are due to both “eroding housing affordability” and government measures tied to mortgage financing.

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Still, “a return to normal [housing] activity levels is anticipated in the second half of the year” in both markets, it adds.

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