Sales of existing single-family homes in the United States rose 5.4% in July. from the June level to a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.88 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

The jump was much larger than expected and brings home sales to their highest annualized rate all year. The increase was the third straight monthly advance and followed a revised 1.7% gain in June. The rate is up 14.8% over a year ago.

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