Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home prices rose in September for the first time in four months, as the Bank of Canada paused its interest rate hiking campaign, but the level of sales fell to the lowest since January.

The average price of a GTA home rose 3.4% in September from August to C$1,119,428 ($816,623.87), the first increase since May, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data showed on Wednesday.

On a year-over-year basis, home prices were up 3%. Still, they have fallen 16.1% from a peak hit in February 2022.

The Canadian central bank left its benchmark rate on hold at a 22-year high of 5% last month after hiking in June and July.

"GTA home selling prices remain above the trough experienced early in the first quarter of 2023," Jason Mercer, TRREB chief market analyst, said in a statement.

"However, we did experience a more balanced market in the summer and early fall, with listings increasing noticeably relative to sales. This suggests that some buyers may benefit from more negotiating power, at least in the short term."

New listings jumped 44.1% year-over-year, while home sales were down 7.1%. On a month-over-month basis, sales fell 12.3% to 4,642 homes.

($1 = 1.3708 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Fergal Smith, editing by Deepa Babington)