WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought homes in October, a sign that rising home values are pushing more would-be buyers to the real estate market's sidelines.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes fell 3.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million.

The decline comes after strong growth in home-buying for much of 2015, aided by steady job gains. Home purchases have advanced 3.9 percent from a year ago, even as the number of listings has dropped 4.5 percent.

But last month suggested the start of a backlash. The additional sales have spawned sharp price increases that have outpaced wage growth and left some would-be buyers out of the market.

The median home sales price was $219,600 in October, a 5.8 percent annual increase.