The pace of existing home sales unexpectedly jumped 2.4% to an annualized rate of 5.15 million units.
Economists were expecting the pace to slide 0.5% to 5.02 million.
“The number of houses for sale is higher than a year ago and tamer price increases are giving prospective buyers less hesitation about entering the market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “More people are buying homes compared to earlier in the year and this trend should continue with interest rates remaining low and apartment rents on the rise.”
The median existing-home price was $222,900, up 4.9% from a year ago.
"Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 3.5% to 2.37 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.5-month supply at the current sales pace," noted the NAR. "Unsold inventory is 5.8 percent higher than a year ago, when there were 2.24 million existing homes available for sale."
"This positive momentum is likely to be sustained in the coming months as the steady gain in employment and still favorable buying conditions buoy housing activity," said TD Securities Millan Mulraine.
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