Sales of existing homes rose in July to three-year highs

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. rose in July to its highest level in more than three years , suggesting that a sharp rise in the cost of borrowing is just having a limited recovery in the housing market impact.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR , for its acronym in English ) said sales of existing homes rose 6.5 % in July to an annualized rate of 5.39 million units.

The result far exceeded market expectations and represents the highest sales pace since November 2009, when expiring tax credit for homebuyers .

After being devastated by the financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009 , the U.S. housing market seemed to start to recover early last year, helped by sustained job creation and low interest rates . “The current housing market recovery has a solid foundation ,” said Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist .

In July homebuyers seemed inmunesa a recent increase in lending rates . In fact, Yun believes some buyers might have rushed to prevent further increases , which are widely expected .

Banks have raised their rates on expectations of an acceleration of the U.S. economy and anticipating that the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy. Since early May, mortgage rates have risen by more than one percentage point for 30-year loans .

Last week, the average 30-year mortgage rate rose 12 basis points to 4.68 % , according to figures released Wednesday Hipotercarios Bankers Association figures .

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a rise to a rate of 5.15 million units in July . Sales increased in all four major regions of the United States.

The housing market recovery , illustrated by an increase in prices and a reduction in inventories , is helping to prop up the economy , strengthening the finances of households and consumer spending .

The average price of a resale home soared 13.7 % compared to last year, to $ 213.500 . The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased by 5.6 %.

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