ECONOMY

US home sales fell in July amid inventory shortage

US homebuyers pulled back in July, as sales declined amid a shortage of available properties and steadily rising prices.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes fell 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million. The decline marks a reversal from rising demand that pushed sales in June to their highest level since February 2007.

Fewer homes are coming onto the market, putting a cap on the sales growth enjoyed earlier this year. The number of listings has tumbled 5.8 percent from a year ago to 2.13 million, meaning that would-be homebuyers are increasingly struggling to find attractive properties.

The median home sales price was $244,100 in July, up 5.3 percent from a year ago.