Existing-home sales in August dropped for the fourth time in five months as real-estate agents continue to blame a lack of available homes to buy.
The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales fell 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million, the worst level in 12 months.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 5.44 million pace.
Total housing inventory at the end of August declined 2.1% to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 6.5% lower than a year ago.
That limited inventory has helped stoke prices — the median existing-home price in August was $253,500, up 5.6%.