US home sales rose last month to the highest level since February 2007 as buyers rushed to close deals before mortgage rates increased further.
Yet the gain could represent a temporary peak if higher rates slow sales in coming months.
Sales of previously occupied homes rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in August, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That level is consistent with a healthy market.
August sales reflect contracts signed in June and July, when mortgage rates were rising steadily. The Realtors’ group cautioned that buyer traffic dropped off significantly in August. That points to fewer sales in the fall. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.