The Teranet—National Bank index of Canadian house prices was unchanged last month, the first time in 15 years that there hasn't been an increase between February and March.
Prices in major Western cities tended to do better than those in Ontario and further east, with Montreal showing the biggest month-over-month decline among the 11 local markets tracked by Teranet.
On a year-over-year basis, the national index was up 4.6 per cent, although there were declines in four of the 11 cities including Montreal.
Montreal's index stood at 147.24 points in March, down 1.8 per cent from February and down 0.7 per cent from March 2013.
Calgary had the best showing, with its price index rising 1.4 per cent from February and 9.7 per cent from a year earlier to 176.72.
The Teranet index was lower than expected, according to a TD Economics commentary, as "soft housing demand during the winter months has taken some steam out of home price growth," according to report.
But the report calls for prices to rebound, with the busy spring season about to start up and mortgage rates