Toronto area home sales rise in June, halt four-month slide

FILE PHOTO: Real estate sings in Toronto

(Reuters) - Toronto area home sales rose in June after four straight months of decline, following Canada's first interest-rate cut in more than four years, while prices rose marginally, data showed on Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted sales rose by 4.2% in June from May, according to Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data. Average home prices increased by 1.8% to C$1.13 million ($830,000), the highest since December, while new listings were up 9.3%.

The Bank of Canada cut rates by 0.25% to 4.75% in early June, saying monetary policy no longer needed to be as restrictive. Money markets see a 45% chance of another cut this month and are leaning toward a policy rate of 4.25% by year-end.

TRREB did not explain the June sales increase, though it has previously said monthly figures can be volatile when the market is approaching a transition point.

On a year-over-year basis, home sales fell 16.4% in June, while the average selling price was 1.6% lower. New listings jumped 12.3% annually.

"The (Toronto area) housing market is currently well-supplied. Recent home buyers have benefited from substantial choice and therefore negotiating power on price," TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer said in a statement.

"Moving forward, as sales pick up alongside lower borrowing costs, elevated inventory levels will help mitigate against a quick runup in selling prices."

($1 = 1.3635 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Rod Nickel)