WASHINGTON – 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 were still 4.3 percent lower than a year ago.