A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

OTTAWA — Canada’s average home selling price soared an eye-watering 31.6% year-over-year in March, hitting a new high as sales also climbed to a new all-time record, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said on Thursday.

National home sales rose 5.2% in March from February, as more supply came to the market and was quickly snapped up by hungry buyers. Actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 76.2% from a year ago.

The number of newly listed homes, meanwhile, climbed 7.5% to set a new record in March from February. Supply is up more than 25% in the last two months, the CREA data showed.

“The big rebound in new supply to start the spring market is the relief valve we need the most,” said Cliff Stevenson, chair of CREA, in a statement.

“It looks like we may finally be rounding the corner on these extremely unbalanced housing market conditions. It’s great news for frustrated buyers,” he added.

But even with a surge of new supply, the average selling price of a home in Canada hit a new record at C$716,828 ($572,821) in March, rising 5.7% from a month earlier.

The largest year-over-year gains continue to be smaller cities and rural parts of Ontario, followed by markets in British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

Single-family homes remain the biggest gainers, as people continue to seek out more space amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a long-term bet on working from home.

The industry group said its Home Price Index – which smoothes out average price swings – was up 20.1% from last March and up 3.1% from February.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)