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People walk past new homes that are for sale in Oakville, Ont.


Prices for new homes increased in July from a month earlier, marking the first monthly rise in prices nationally since last September in yet another sign of the rebound in Canada's real estate markets.

Vancouver, Calgary, and Hamilton and Windsor, Ont., saw the biggest price gains, Statistics Canada said Friday.

"On balance, the message from this report appears to be that the buoyancy that has been seen in the Canadian existing homes market may finally be filtering through to the new homes markets," said TD Securities economics strategist Millan Mulraine. "In fact, all four Canadian home price measures that we track have now shown monthly gains in prices."

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Year over year, prices were down 3.2 per cent, the largest declines still in western Canada, the federal statistics gathering agency said.

The increase in July marked a rebound from a montly decline of 0.2 per cent in June.

Highlights of the report:

- Prices in Vancouver rose "as consumer interest increased and the new housing market continued to improve."

- In Hamilton, contractors said prices returned to normal levels after several months of lower prices.

- In Edmonton, prices rose 0.4 per cent, the first monthly increase since October, 2007.

- Prices fell 3.5 per cent in Victoria as builders cut prices to finalize sales.

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- The biggest year-over-year increase was in St. John's, at 7 per cent.

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