The Houston real estate market wasn't the only one to post a strong July, as national existing sales had the strongest month since 2009.With rising mortgage rates drawing buyers into the market, total existing-home sales increased 6.5 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.?”If you look at housing affordability it's still very attractive,” Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC, told Bloomberg. “I do think we'll see improvement continue but at a little bit of a slower pace as the year progresses, and frankly that's probably a healthy sign.”In addition to higher interest rates, an increasing inventory of homes available for sale likely aided the sales increase. Total housing inventory jumped 5.6 percent in July, representing a 5.1-month supply at the current sales rate.?More for sale homes can lead to additional purchases as buyers have more options available and are able to avoid serious bidding wars.?Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.