Seasonally adjusted home sales in Canada numbered 38,303 units in October, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported today, which is down 0.8 percent compared to September. Home sales activity via the nation’s Multiple Listing Service system is still on track to set a new annual record.

Sales activity for the first 10 months of the year remained 0.7 percent above levels recorded for the same period last year, and the number of transactions for the first 10 months year are ahead of 2005 levels in all provinces except British Columbia and Ontario, according to the report.

Seasonally adjusted new MLS listings totaled 67,122 units in October — a 1.9 percent since September but the fifth-highest monthly level on record. New listings reached the highest level in a decade in British Columbia, and their third-highest level on record in Alberta.

“Small monthly declines in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec more than offset an increase in activity in New Brunswick,” the association reported.

October sales in New Brunswick were on par with the highest monthly level on record, which was set in March 2006. MLS home sales in Saskatchewan recorded the highest level for the month of October and the second-highest monthly level on record.

The month-over-month decline in new listings was larger than the decline in sales activity, the association also reported. “While the national resale housing market tightened slightly as a result, it remains more balanced than at almost any other time in the past five years.”

“New listings continue to trend higher in British Columbia and Alberta, which is taking some of the steam out of many local housing markets in those provinces,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, in a statement. Klump also said that buyers will have more negotiating power and time to make purchase decisions continuing into 2007, while home-price increases will likely be smaller next year.

Seasonally adjusted MLS residential dollar volume was valued at $11 billion in August 2006, up 2.4 percent compared to September. MLS dollar volume set a new monthly record in New Brunswick and reached the highest level on record for the month of October in every province except British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

The national MLS residential average price rose 10.2 percent year-over-year to $282,156 in October 2006 — the ninth double-digit increase of the year, the association noted.

The association report used statistical information for all housing types.

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