Existing-home sales rose again in the third consecutive month as unsold inventory eased in June, according to a monthly survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Sales transactions on all single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops ticked up 3.6% in June to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.89m units, from the downwardly revised pace of 4.72m units in May. The rate is slightly below the year-ago level.

Single-family home sales rose 2.4% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.32m units in June. The median existing single-family home sales price was $181,600.

Total housing inventory slipped 0.7% to 3.82m existing homes available for sale at the end of June, representing a 9.4-month supply at the current sales pace. A month earlier, the volume of unsold inventory represented a 9.8-month supply. Raw inventory levels are 14.9% below year-ago levels.

"This is another hopeful sign -- if we can keep the volume of sales above the level of new inventory, prices could stabilize in many areas around the end of the year," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The national median existing-home sales price on all unit types came in at $181,800 in June, 15.4% below the year-ago median. Distressed properties accounted for 31% of June sales, however, downwardly pressuring the overall effect of prices achieved through non-distressed sales.

Write to Diana Golobay.