MarketWatch reports on a pronounced slowdown in home sales in August and what real estate agents surveyed by Credit Suisse see as the causes.

There are some clues — and great observations — in the monthly survey of real-estate agents produced by Credit Suisse. In August, its national buyer traffic index declined 4 points compared with July, and was 1 point below the long-term average for August.

August is generally a slow month for house hunting, but in nearly every metro area, surveyed agents spoke of a more profound slowdown than normal. There were several specific issues affecting local areas: the “red tide” of algae in multiple Florida metros, wildfires in Portland and in Sacramento, and emerging-market financial volatility that took foreign buyers out of the Miami market.

But the most enduring trend was buyer fatigue, a theme that was echoed repeatedly even as several agents noted that home builders are increasingly offering more supply at entry-level price points. As in past such surveys, there were multiple references to buyers moving further out into the periphery, and to the down payment being an obstacle.

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