Existing home sales fall in August as investors take a breather

Real estate home for sale housing price index home prices
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. home resales fell unexpectedly in August as investors stepped away from the market.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 5.05 million units. The decline followed four straight months of gains and the sales pace was still the second highest for the year.

Read MoreBuilder confidence at highest level since 2005

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales increasing to a 5.20 million-unit pace. Compared to August last year, sales were down 5.3 percent.

Investors who have been propping up the market almost deserted the market last month, accounting for only 12 percent of transactions, the smallest share since November 2009.

Read MoreAre we building too many homes?