New-home sales up again

Sales of new homes rose 2.7 percent in August, the second consecutive monthly gain, the government reported Wednesday. The Commerce Department said new homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 688,000 units in August following a revised July increase of 4 percent. The increase surprised many economists who had been forecasting a decline because of rising mortgage rates. Analysts said rising rates apparently spurred some people to buy before rates went even higher.

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