Tim Mullaney, USA TODAY
Existing home sales rose 6.5% in July, as the housing recovery continued and inventories of homes for sale stayed tight, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Homes sold at a 5.39 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the group said, handily beating economists' forecasts of a 5.15 million sales pace and rising 17% from the same month last year. The median home price, where half of all homes are more expensive and half are less expensive, was $213,500, up 14% from last July.
The market may be slowed soon by higher interest rates, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.
"Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sidelines," he said. "The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers."