Posted: Thursday, August 21st 2014 at 1:14pm
Existing home sales rise for 4th straight month
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of existing U.S. homes rose for the fourth straight month in July to their highest level in nearly a year, the latest sign that the housing recovery is picking up after stumbling at the start of the year.
The National Association of Realtors says home sales rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million, the highest since last September.
More homeowners are selling their homes, mortgage rates remain low and home price gains have slowed this year. That's made home purchases more affordable.
Sales peaked in July 2013 and then fell as interest rates rose from low levels. Harsh winter weather also slowed sales earlier this year. As a result, July's sales are still 4.3 percent lower than a year ago. They also remain below the 5.5 million considered consistent with a healthy housing market.
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