The Teranet-National Bank house price index rose 1.2 per cent in July, traditionally a much quieter month for real estate sales, driven by demand in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver.

But prices were down on the month in five Canadian cities, including Calgary, where house prices dropped by 1.9 per cent in the past month.

The composite index of house prices from cities across Canada is at an all-time high and has risen 5.1 per cent in the past year. But that upward trend masks differing market conditions in Canadian cities.

Markets have remained hot in Vancouver, where prices are up 9.9 per cent on the year; Toronto is up 8.4 per cent and Hamilton, up 6.7 per cent.

These are sellers' markets, with more buyers than homes listed for sale.

But in Calgary, house prices are down 2.3 per cent since last year, reflecting the economic slowdown that has followed the advent of cheap oil.

The drop in the past month indicates a hit from the worsening job situation and many people putting their homes up for sale in the face of economic uncertainty.

Prices also dropped year-over-year in Montreal and Halifax, down 0.6 per cent in both cities.

While July is traditionally a slow month, as people are on vacation and may be less interested in homes during hot weather, sales have been unusually strong across the country in every market but Halifax and Winnipeg, Teranet said.