WASHINGTON — Existing home sales rose 7.8% in August to a seasonally adjusted 4.82 million-unit rate, following an unrevised 4.47 million rate in July, the National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted 4.56 million sales in August. The August sales pace was the largest since a 4.89 million rate in May 2010, and was a 9.3% increase from August 2011. The sales rate has now been above the previous year's levels for 14 straight months, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

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