Sales of new homes retreated in August, one month after surging to the highest level in nearly nine years. Activity fell in all regions of the country except the West.

The Commerce Department says new home sales dropped 7.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 609,000 units. That followed a surge in sales in July, when they jumped 13.8 percent to a rate of 659,000, the fastest pace since October 2007.

Sales had been expected to retreat in August following the July surge.

One problem weighing on the industry is a lack of available homes for sale, both in the new home category and existing homes. Sales of existing homes slipped 0.9 percent in August to an annual rate of 5.33 million units.