Existing-home sales in Canada fell 6.7 percent below their year-ago level in September, as for-sale inventory rose to a new high, according to seasonally adjusted figures provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

According to the Multiple Listing Service, some 38,890 homes were sold on a seasonally adjusted basis last month, down from 41,699 sales in September 2005. Sales sank 1.9 percent from the previous month, as activity slowed considerably in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, despite Saskatchewan posting its best sales month ever, CREA reported.

Seasonally adjusted new MLS residential listings reached a record 68,872 in September, up 4.8 percent from the same month last year. Last month’s growth in new listings rose by 2.3 percent from levels recorded in August, due to increases in Alberta, where listings hit a monthly high, and Ontario, where listings nailed a 16-year high.

The national MLS residential average price rose 9.3 percent year-over-year to $277,470 in September. It was the first month this year in which the year-over-year increase in average price came in under 10 percent. The MLS residential average price reached its highest monthly level on record in Alberta and British Columbia.

“Canada’s housing market continues to head for a soft landing,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “With the housing market becoming more balanced, price gains are slowing down in a number of major markets. CREA’s October 2006 forecast indicates those trends will continue over the rest of the year and in 2007.”

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