Sales of previously-owned homes slid to their lowest level of the year in July as the familiar dynamics of lean supply and hearty demand continue to strain the housing market.

Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That was down 1.3% from a downwardly-revised June pace. While July’s pace was 2.1% higher than a year ago, it was the lowest since last August.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 5.50 million rate.

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