Existing US home sales rose in June; prices hit new highs

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose in June, snapping a four-month losing streak, while strong demand for higher-end properties and ultra-low mortgage rates helped push prices to new highs.

Existing homes sales rose 1.4% last month from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units, the National Association of Realtors said today. Sales jumped 22.9% from June last year.

Economists were expecting that sales increased to an annual rate of 5.90 million, according to FactSet.

The median U.S. home price climbed 23.4% from a year earlier to a record $363,300.

Home sales have been slowing as soaring prices and a limited number of available homes on the market have discouraged many would-be buyers.

At the end of June, the inventory of unsold homes stood at just 1.25 million homes for sale, down 18.8% from a year ago. At the current sales pace, that amounts to a 2.6 months’ supply, the NAR said.