NEW YORK (CNN Money) - Americans seem to be stepping up their homebuying while they can still find bargains.
July home sales rose 2.3% from June, and 10.4% from a year earlier, to an annual rate of 4.47 million, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.
The market has been bolstered by low home prices and mortgage rates, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, but the inability of some potential buyers to obtain financing has cut into sales.
"The market is constrained by tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these frictions," he said.
July sales were slightly below forecasts from a panel of industry experts put together by Briefing.com, which had predicted sales of 4.57 million.
Related: Best Places to Live where homes are affordable.
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial, said the psychology of the market has turned. With mortgage rates coming up off of historic lows and home prices on the rise, homebuyers are more likely to think that housing will get more expensive, making them more inclined to buy.
NAR reported a rise in median home price of 9.6% in July, compared with a year earlier, to $187,300. Listing inventory has fallen to a 6.5 month supply, down 24% from a year ago.
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