Both the number of homes sold in Hamilton and the average selling price dropped in October compared to the previous month.

According to figures released Friday by The Canadian Real Estate Association, the number of homes sold in the Hamilton-Burlington area dropped by 7.5 per cent last month from September. However, the number is still up 8.9 per cent from October of last year.

The average housing price also dipped by 6.9 per cent, but is up 13.4 percent when compared to October of 2012.

On the national side, home sales declined by 3.2 per cent from September to October, but came in 8.3 per cent higher than the year before.

The Canadian housing market is in “balanced territory,” CREA said in a news release.

"October's lower activity provides early evidence confirming that sales in the later summer and early fall were boosted by homebuyers with pre-approved mortgages at lower than current interest rates jumping into the market before their preapprovals expired," said Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist. "Now that interest rates appear to be going nowhere fast, sales activity in the near term may be held in check by homebuyers who are in less of a hurry to purchase.

“While the Finance Minister will no doubt continue to keep a close eye on Canadian housing markets for signs of overheating as interest rates remain low, October sales results may provide him with reassurance that tightened mortgage regulations and lending guidelines are working as intended."

Including Hamilton, sales were down in a little over half of all local markets, including Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Toronto and Montreal. The monthly decline in activity among these markets offset increased activity in a handful of less active major urban centres.

So far this year, a total of 402,299 homes have traded hands across the country. That's just 0.2 per cent below levels recorded in the first 10 months of 2012. After rising every year until 2008, annual home sales have been pretty steady since then.