Canadian home prices rose a slight 0.5 per cent in April, following an unusually flat March, and are up 4.9 per cent from last year, according to Teranet.
But the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index points out that April is usually the busiest month of the year for home sales and the 0.5 per cent increase from March is actually much lower than usual.
The year-over-year increase also looks deceptively robust, because April 2013 was an unusually poor month for home sales, it adds.
Canadian realtors have noted the very low number of houses offered for sale in April, compared with other years. But Teranet says there is also oversupply in some markets because of usually slow winter and spring sales.
But low mortgage rates, such as the 1.99 per cent now on offer from Investors Group, continue to make housing attractive to buyers.
Two months ago, the Conference Board of Canada said persisent reports that housing prices were a bubble ready to pop were overblown.
Only four markets – Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg – saw house prices at record highs, according to Teranet. Calgary housing prices jumped 10.0 per cent on year, with Vancouver prices up nine per cent and Toronto prices up 5.8 per cent.
Winnipeg housing rose 0.4 per cent in the month and 2.5 per cent since last year.
However, for the first time since October 2010, prices were down from a year earlier in five of the 11 markets, including Halifax (−3.5 per cent), Quebec City (−2.4 per cent) and Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.4 per cent). Victoria housing prices also took a dip of 0.7 per cent on the month and one per cent from a year earlier.
The Teranet--National Bank House Price Index tracks resales of single-family homes across the country and does not include new homes being bought or sold for the first time.