NEW YORK: The reflex action of an anesthetized giant? Or its first reawakening twitch? There are mixed diagnoses. But make of it what you will, more Americans ventured into the quagmire of the US property market in July than at any time since February.

Home sales – one third of them victims of foreclosures – rose 3.1% last month, reports the National Association of Realtors. The news has prompted some economists to speculate that that the decline in home sales has peaked.

Opines Robert Barbera, chief economist at research and trading firm ITG: "Sales are down substantially from the peak, and they seem to be bouncing around what looks like a bottom.

"[But] it's cold comfort to know that the banks are succeeding in selling their houses at prices that are pretty breathtaking," he said, a reference to banks that have repossessed foreclosed homes.

But most analysts and other onlookers await data for the current month before rushing to judgement.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff