After five straight months of increases, sales of existing homes took a breather in August — along with rising values.

According to figures released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing one- to four-family units fell 2.8% in August from July, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million units. Compared with the same month last year sales were down 2.5%.

After several months of increases, the median sale price of a home fell to $177,500, the Realtor group reported.

But the trade group had some good news: the monthly supply of homes for sale continued to decline. In August there was an 8.2-month supply of homes for sale compared to 10.6 months in November, the nadir of the housing crisis.

The Realtor association and other trade groups are lobbying Congress to extend the $8,000 first-time-homebuyer tax credit, which expires Nov. 30.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.