Jeff Chiu, Associated Press
In this photo taken, May 6, 2015, realtor Stephan Marshall, top, walks with potential buyer Sasha Martinez at a home for sale in Pacifica, Calif. The National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for June on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

WASHINGTON — Americans bought homes in June at the fastest rate in over eight years, pushing prices to record highs as buyer demand has eclipsed supplies.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes climbed 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million, the highest rate since February 2007. Sales have jumped 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has risen just 0.4 percent.

Strong job gains since 2014 and relatively low mortgage rates have generated increased demand. But the market has just 5 months' supply of homes, compared to an average of six months in a healthy market.

Median home prices climbed 6.5 percent over the past 12 months to $236,400, the highest average tracked by the Realtors.