Improvement in July for U.S. Existing Home Sales

Re-sales of homes in the United States beat analyst predictions last month. Information released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors revealed sales of previously-owned homes edged up 2.5% in July, as mortgage rates offset the affordability crunch caused by high home prices at the margins.

Existing home sales occurred at a 5.42 million seasonally-adjusted annual pace, up from a revised 5.29 million in June. Compared with a year ago, sales were 0.6% higher. Economists had expected an average annual rate of 5.40 million.

Moreover, NAR said, the median sales price increased 4.3% from the prior-year to $280,800. While the rate of home price appreciations has slowed considerably this year, prices continue to rise thanks largely to the constrained inventory of homes for sale.