U.S. home sales fell in June after two straight months of hefty increases, but a surge in prices to a five-year high suggested that the housing market recovery remained on course,the National Association of Realtors said today, according to Reuters

 

The realtor group said sales fell 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.08 million units. Though the number of sales dropped in June, the month recorded the second best total since November 2009.

 

May's sales pace was revised down to 5.14 million units from the previously reported 5.18 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to rise to a 5.25 million unit pace in June.

 

June sales were up 15.2 percent from June 2012.

 

The realtor association said a spike in mortgage rates, in anticipation of the Federal Reserve starting to reduce its massive monetary stimulus later this year, probably had dampened sales in June.

 

The median price for a previously owned home soared 13.5 percent from a year ago to $214,200, the highest since June 2008. Prices are being boosted by lean inventories, Reuters said.