U.S. home resales rise further in July

WASHINGTON — Sales of existing U.S. homes edged up by 2.5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. The growth outstripped analyst expectations, as economists predicted a SAAR of 5.39 million units in a Reuters poll. June’s numbers were revised slightly higher, to 5.29 million units compared to the previously reported 5.27 million. June was the first month in 17 months in which sales were higher than they had been a year previously. The increase in sales suggests the Federal Reserve’s move toward lower interest rates is stimulating buyers’ activity.