OTTAWA (Reuters) - The prices of new homes in Canada fell in October for the first time in a decade as booming real estate markets in some western Canadian cities cooled substantially, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
The new housing price index fell 0.4 percent in October from September, the first monthly decline since September 1998.
The year-on-year price increase eased to 1.5 percent from 2.1 percent in the previous month -- the lowest since 1999.
Analysts in a Reuters survey had forecast a decline of 0.1 percent in the month.
Canada's housing market has slowed in recent months but analysts see little chance of a U.S.-style collapse because of more conservative lending practices in the country and comparatively robust labor market and spending.
Housing prices in the oil-rich west had risen sharply in the period prior to the global financial crisis and are now coming down from those highs.