04/15/2015 09:16 EDT | Updated 06/24/2015 12:59 EDT

Average Canadian house price climbs 9% to $439,144 in March from year earlier

The average price of a Canadian home sold in March increased by nine per cent compared with the same month a year earlier, rising to almost $440,000.

While the spring home buying season is off to a hot start, the two big markets of Toronto and Vancouver continue to skew the numbers higher, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday.

If sales in those two markets are stripped out, the $439,144 average price drops to $332,711, and the annual increase shrinks to just 2.4 per cent.

"Price gains in these two markets are being fuelled by a shortage of single family homes for sale in the face of strong demand," the realtor group's chief economist Gregory Klump said.

"Meanwhile, supply and demand for homes is well balanced among the vast majority of housing markets elsewhere across Canada."

More to come