Canadian resale home prices rose in April, but the start of the spring selling season appeared milder than usual, according to the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed home prices were up 0.5 percent from March, when month-on-month prices were flat.

Canada's housing market has risen strongly if unsteadily in the past five years, and economists have been waiting for the spring data to gauge whether it is cooling or heating up again.

"Though (April's) gain might appear robust, it must be said that apart from the recession in 2009, the composite index always advanced in April, the average monthly increase having been 0.9 percent," Teranet said in the report. "Last month's advance is indeed the third weakest for April, outside a recession, since 1999."

Prices were up 4.9 percent from a year earlier, an acceleration from March's 4.6 percent price gain.

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