Canadian home sales tumble 14 percent in October

Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:41pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Home sales in Canada fell to their lowest level in more than six years in October as fallout from the global financial crisis undermined market sentiment, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Friday.

Seasonally adjusted residential sales activity fell 14 percent nationally to 32,048 units in October from September. It was lowest level of monthly activity since July 2002, CREA said and the biggest month-over-month drop since June 1994.

Sales in major urban markets such as Toronto or Montreal tumbled 15.1 percent to 21,091 units.

The Toronto market accounted for nearly one third of the decline in national sales, CREA said. Weakness was also seen in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton during a month that saw the Toronto Stock Exchange slump nearly 17 percent.

"Many home buyers across Canada battened down the hatches in October as they were concerned with dire headlines about stock market volatility and a global economic downturn," said CREA's chief economist, Gregory Klump.

The average house price fell to C$281,133, 9.9 percent below where it stood in the same month last year.

CREA represents more than 98,000 real estate dealers across the country.

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)