Existing home sales fell 5.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.37 million June, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. The rate beat analyst estimates of a pace of 5.2 million and was 9.8% higher than the pace in June 2009.

"June home sales still reflect a tax credit impact with some sales not closed due to delays, which will show up in the next two months," said Lawrence Yun, the Realtors' chief economist. "Broadly speaking, sales closed after the home buyer tax credit will be significantly lower compared to the credit-induced spring surge. Only when jobs are created at a sufficient pace will home sales return to sustainable healthy levels."

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose 1% to $183,700 in June. which is 1.0 percent higher than a year ago. Distressed properties accounted for 32% of sales last month, up slightly from 31% percent in May and in June 2009.

Single-family home sales fell 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.70 million, still 8.5% above the 4.33 million pace in June 2009. The median existing single-family home price was $184,200 in June, up 1.3% percent from a year before. Single-family median existing-home prices were higher year-over-year in 10 out of 19 metropolitan statistical areas.Existing single-family home sales rose in 12 of the 19 areas from a year ago; two were unchanged.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 1.5% to a rate of 670,000, still 20.5% above the pace in June 2009. The median existing condo price fell 1.4% to $180,100 in June.

Inventory at the end of June rose 2.5% to 3.99 million existing homes available for sale, an 8.9-month supply, up from an 8.3-month supply in May.Raw unsold inventory was 12.7% below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008.

"The supply of homes on the market is higher than we¹d like to see," Yun said. "But home prices are still holding their ground because prices had already overcorrected in many local markets."

The Realtor group said first-time buyers purchased 43% of homes in June, down from 46% in May. Investors accounted for 13% of sales, down from 14% in May; the remaining purchases were by repeat buyers. All-cash sales were at 24% in June, down from 25% in May.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 7.9% to a pace of 960,000, 17.1% above June 2009, with the median price down 1.2% from last June. The Midwest dropped 7.5% to 1.23 million,11.8% higher than a year prior, with the median price down 0.1% to $155,900. In the South, existing-home sales fell 6.5% to a pace of 2.01, 11.0% above June 2009, and the median price was flat at $163,600. The West dropped 9.3% to an annual pace of 1.17 million, just 0.9% higher than a year before, with the median price up 1.5% to $221,800.