By Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON | Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:27am EDT
(Reuters) – U.S. home resales hit a 6-1/2 year high in August as buyers flocked back to the market to lock in cheap borrowing costs amid rising mortgage rates, a signal of continued strength in the housing market recovery.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.48 million units last month, the highest level since February 2007 when property values began to decline after the sector’s boom and bust.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected home resales to rise to a 5.25 million-unit rate. The housing recovery has helped shore up the economy by bolstering household finances and supporting consumer spending.