Sales of previously owned U.S. homes increased in July to a five-month high.
And, after 16 straight months of declines, existing home sales managed to rise (+0.6%) on a year-over-year basis...
The median sales price increased 4.3% from a year earlier to $280,800.
The July gain reflected "incredibly low mortgage rates and strong job market conditions," Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said at a briefing in Washington.
The decline in sales during the first half of the year will probably be reversed by December, he said.
Home sales improved in three of the four U.S. regions, led by an 8.3% surge in the West; the 1.18 million pace in the West was the strongest in a year.
And while existing home sales have rebounded as mortgage rates plunged, the marginal benefit appears to be fading fast.