Sales of previously owned homes dropped off unexpectedly in June, although home prices rose as inventory remains tight, according to a new report.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that existing home sales in the U.S. fell 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million. May's sales were revised downward to 5.14 million.
Economists had been expecting sales of existing single-family houses, town homes, condos and co-ops to rise from May. Still, June's figures are 15.2% more than last year.
Lawrence Yun, the association's chief economist, said there still is heavy pent-up demand and housing remains largely affordable despite a recent run up in mortgage rates. But, he said, pricey markets will take a hit.
"Higher mortgage interest rates will bite into high-cost regions of California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area market," he said in a statement.
The median sales price for an existing home in the U.S. reached $214,200 last month, a 13.5 percent increase from last June and the 16th consecutive year-over-year rise.
Such a streak last occurred during the bubble days, the Realtor group said.
Although inventory increased in June, it remains very tight -- a sign "above-normal price growth" will continue, Yun said.
Inventory jumped 1.9% to 2.19 million existing homes for sale, the Realtor group said. If homes continued to sell at their current pace, there would be a supply of 5.2 months, an increase from 5 months in May.
In June 2012, there was a 6.4-month supply.
Existing home sales declined in the Northeast, South and West, but remained flat in the Midwest.