US home sales rose 3.1 per cent in July from a month earlier as some buyers appeared to take advantage of market- bottom deals, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Sales of previously owned homes climbed to an annual rate of 5 million on the month, more than forecast and up from a 10-year low of 4.85 million in June, the dpa reported. The July figure is still down 13.2 per cent from July 2007, indicating that the housing crisis is still far from a recovery stage. The average price of homes dropped 7.1 per cent in July from the year-earlier period. The NAR also said the number of homes up for sale had reached a record high in July, as the slumping prices have forced an unprecedented number of property owners into foreclosure.