New home sales rose 12.4%, reaching a seasonally adjusted rate of 654,000 units. That beats a revised June figure of 582,000 and is 31.3% higher than the July 2015 rate of 498,000 units.
Housing starts jumped nearly 10 percent from May to June, a sign that the housing market is getting stronger.
Ahead this week: key readings on housing and a Harry Potter anniversary.
Home sales and other reports this week may show whether the economy will pick up the pace.
March housing numbers reflect problems with costs, supply and demand.
Consumer spending comprises the bulk of economic activity this week.