WASHINGTON — Existing home sales rose 2.3% in July to a seasonally adjusted 4.47 million-unit rate, after an unrevised 4.37 million rate in June, the National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted 4.52 million sales in July.

The rate is a 10.4% increase from July 2011. The sales rate has now been above the previous year's levels for 13 straight months, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

The median sales price rose to $187,300, a 9.4% gain from a year ago.

The inventory levels rose slightly to 2.4 million existing homes, representing a 6.4-month supply at the current pace. Inventory was down 24 % from the July 2011 level.

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