Sales of existing homes in the United States pulled back in March, according to industry data released Thursday, with transactions bogged down by elevated mortgage rates.

Existing home sales fell 4.3 percent from February to a seasonally adjusted 4.19 million rate, said the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The figure was in line with analyst expectations.

"Though rebounding from cyclical lows, home sales are stuck because interest rates have not made any major moves," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun in a statement.

Inventory numbers have not changed massively either, he told reporters.

The association added that from a year ago, home sales were down 3.7 percent.

According to home loan finance firm Freddie Mac, the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.88 percent as of April 11, up from the prior week.

Mortgage rates rose quickly in the past two years as the Federal Reserve rapidly hiked the benchmark lending rate to tackle surging inflation.

While the central bank has signaled it expects rate cuts this year, all eyes are on when the first reduction will take place.

Yun noted that with a rise in jobs created, there are also more aspiring home buyers in the market.

The total housing inventory registered at end-March was up from February's level, according to the NAR.

The median price across housing types rose 4.8 percent from the prior year to $393,500, the highest in seven months.

This was also the "highest price ever for the month of March," the NAR said.