Resale housing in Canada’s major markets experienced cooling in October, as the massive supply of homes for sale gave buyers more time to gauge the market, according to statistics released Thursday by The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Seasonally adjusted home sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Canada’s major markets numbered 27,225 units in October 2006, down 3.7 percent from a year earlier. Although sales reached their highest monthly level ever in Edmonton and Saskatoon, sales were down in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal.

The MLS residential average price in Canada’s major markets increased to $263,148 (in current U.S. dollars) last month, a gain of 9.6 percent from a year ago. Average price set new monthly records in Vancouver, Calgary, and Saskatoon.

According to unadjusted MLS data, some 47,744 new residential listings came on the market in October, up 10 percent from their year-ago level, which helped to tip market balance in favor of buyers.

“New listings continue to trend higher, which is giving buyers more choice and taking some of the steam out of many local housing markets,” said CREA’s Chief Economist Gregory Klump in a statement. “A more balanced market gives buyers more negotiating power and time to make purchase decisions. That trend is forecast to continue, and result in smaller price increases in 2007.”

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