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The U.S. housing industry is continuing to see solid gains as the purchase of new homes unexpectedly jumped in July to the highest level in almost nine years. This was led by a soaring demand in the nation’s south and adding to signs of persistent housing market strength, according to recent data from the Department of Commerce.

As home sales continue to rise and the demand for home financing grows, it is critical that credit unions continue to offer mortgages. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing out on potential opportunities to grow relationships with existing members as well as grow their member base.

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