With US home prices now a third lower than they were in their peak in 2006, it's not surprising that many more houses were sold in July compared to a year ago. During the month of July, new home sales grew 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 compared to June, and if you compare it to a year ago, home sales rose 25.3%. This rise in home sales is largely due to near-record low mortgage rates.

Not only have home sales prices increased in the last month, the amount of building permits has also gone up, which confirms that builders are optimistic that people will buy more houses. Mortgage applications, on the other hand, have gone down 7.4% in July compared to June.

When purchasing a house, you should make sure you find the lowest mortgage rate available, as that could save you thousands of dollars. Fortunately, mortgage rates are still very low, although they are increasing a little each week, which means that if you want to purchase a house, you should take the plunge sooner than later.

Last week's 30-year fixed mortgage rates have increased slightly from 3.62% two weeks ago to 3.66% last week, along with 15-year fixed mortgage rates, which also increased 0.01% from 2.88% two weeks ago to 2.89% last week. The 5-year rate has also gone up steadily from 2.76% two weeks ago to 2.8% last week.

The only mortgage rate that has decreased is the 1-year rate, which has decreased to 2.66% last week from its previous 2.69% two weeks ago, although all of the mortgage rates are still close to the lowest rate they've reached in 60 years.

Now that mortgage rates are at a near-record low, buying a house is finally more affordable.

Compare Mortgages