WASHINGTON — Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007.
The National Association of Realtors says home sales rose 3.3 percent last months from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million.
Steady job gains, modest pay raises and rising consumer confidence are spurring healthy home buying even as borrowing costs have risen since last fall.
Meanwhile, the rate for a 30-year loan has climbed to 4.15 percent from 3.5 percent last October, according to Freddie Mac.
Some potential buyers may be accelerating their home purchases to get ahead of any further increases in mortgage rates. Goldman Sachs forecasts that the 30-year mortgage will rise to 5.5 percent by 2019.
Buyers are snapping up homes, with the typical house for sale remaining on the market for just 50 days, compared with 64 days a year ago. Strong demand is pushing up median home prices, which jumped 7.1 percent from a year earlier to $228,900