The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that existing home sales fell 2.6% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.86 million units in June, more than wiping out an unexpected increase of 2% in May. The sales pace was 15.5% below June 2007.

The median price increased to $215,100 in June from a revised $207,900 in May but was down 6.1% from a year ago, when the median was $229,000. Inventory of unsold homes increased from 10.8 months in May to 11.1 months in June.

Single-family sales declined 3.2% to a rate of 4.27 million in June , 14.8% below June 2007. The median existing single-family home price was $213,800, also up from $206,700 in May but down 6.7% from a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the West rose 1.0% in June to an annual rate of 1.03 million, 6.4% below a year ago, with the median price at $288,400, 17.2% percent below June 2007. The South was down 3.1% to 1.85 million in June, 18.1% below June 2007, with the median price of $185,300 down 2.4% from a year ago. The Midwest declined 3.4% to an annual pace of 1.12 million, 17.6% below a year ago, but the median price was up 2.8% to $175,300. The Northeast fell 6.6% to an annual rate of 850,000, 15.8% below June 2007, with the median price continuing its swoon, falling 12.6% to $256,700.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtor group, said it was difficult to draw trends from the numbers. "With short sales and foreclosures accounting for approximately one-third of transactions, it's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison with a year ago when they were only a minor portion of the market," he said. But Yun noted that unpublished data snapshots show improvement in some markets.

"Sales are now beginning to pick up in Orlando, Fla., Phoenix, and Oakland, Calif.," Yun said. But, he added, "Interestingly, sales fell in Atlanta, Houston, and Kansas City, Mo., despite affordable home prices and solid local employment conditions."