05/15/2013 10:26 EDT | Updated 07/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian housing market flat again in April

The average price of a Canadian home inched slightly higher to $380,588 in April, even as a decline in the number of homes sold suggested a modest real estate slowdown is underway.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday that home sales declined 3.1 per cent in April compared to where they were a year ago. On the price side, the average selling price ticked 1.3 per cent higher, only slightly above the inflation rate.

That 1.3 per cent price increase is the smallest in more than two years.

The slowdown on the volume side, however, wasn't quite as pronounced as the 15 per cent annual decline seen in the previous month.

"The Easter holiday and an extra full weekend at the end of the month lowered March sales activity, and the absence of these factors in April helped sales for the month," CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said in a release.

Toronto, Vancouver slump

Others in the private sector agreed.

"Despite the very loud gnashing of teeth and excessive wringing of hands for well over a year on the topic, Canadian home prices remain incredibly calm, cool and collected," BMO economist Doug Porter said in a note.

"The surprises on the sales data in recent months have consistently been on the high side of expectations, not the low side."

Regionally, In Toronto the number of homes sold fell 5.2 per cent to last April, while in Vancouver sales fell six per cent from a year earlier.

Home sales in Regina fell by 24.2 per cent from a year ago, while sales in Saint John fell 21.1 per cent.

Calgary saw a 10.4 per cent increase in house sales compared to April 2012, and home sales in Windsor-Essex climbed 20.6 per cent year-over-year.