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Sales of existing homes continued to fall in October while prices remained flat, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reported today.

Sales fell 5.6% from September but remain 0.9% above year-ago levels, according to the latest monthly data.

The average national selling price was $656,625, up 1.8% compared to a year ago. The MLS Home Price Index, which accounts for seasonality and differences in property types, posted a 0.8% monthly decrease but is also up 1.1% year-over-year.  

"We’re only in November, but it appears many would-be home buyers have already gone into hibernation,” said CREA chair Larry Cerqua. "The October numbers also revealed some sellers may be shelving their plans until next spring.”

New listings were down 2.3%, marking the first monthly decline since March. At the same time, inventory continued to build, with the months of inventory rising to 4.1 months. That’s up from a record low of 3.1 reached in May.

With the decline in sales outpacing the fall in new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to a 10-year low of 49.5%.

Existing home sales data for November is expected to be released on December 15.