TORONTO -- The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes sales last month fell 3.1 per cent compared with April, but remained up from a year ago.

The organization said sales volume rose nine per cent from May 2011, while the Canadian average price slipped marginally to $375,605, down 0.3 per cent.

CREA also updated its forecast for real estate sales this year after a stronger than expected spring.

The average home price is forecast to rise by 2.2 per cent to $370,700 in 2012 compared with an earlier expectation that it would fall 1.1 per cent.

The group had previously forecast 2012 and 2013 sales volume would be on par with the 10-year average, but it now expects them to be slightly above that.

It now forecasts 475,800 homes will be sold in 2012, up 3.8 per cent from 2011, compared with earlier expectations of a gain of 0.3 per cent.

CREA expects 470,200 sales in 2013 -- down 1.1 per cent from this year.

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