Pending home sales in the 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area in October were down more than 35 percent compared to the same time last year. Closed sales were down about 40 percent for the same period.
The median sales price of $170,000 was a modest 0.6 percent increase over last year, and the eighth month of price gains this year.
Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors President-Elect Pat Paulson said last year's sales numbers were inflated because of federal tax incentives that brought lots of first time buyers into the market.
"The numbers look quite grim at this point because we are comparing artificially low numbers right now with artificially high numbers from a year ago," Paulson said.
Paulson said the good news is that housing inventory is not rising as fast as it has been, a sign that the market is finally beginning to level off.