U.S. new-home sales unexpectedly rose in July to the second-highest level on record, as job and income growth kept housing strong despite a rise in mortgage rates, government figures showed today.

New single-family home sales rose 0.1% in July, to 980,000 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Commerce Department said. This annual rate of unit sales has been exceeded only in November when the pace was a record 985,000.

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