Sales of existing homes went through the roof in June.

The number of homes sold hit a record annualized rate of 6.95 million last month, up 2.1% from May and 17.4% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors, a real estate trade group.

A decrease was widely expected with the consensus forecast of economists forecasting a rate of 6.67 units, vs. May's 6.81 million rate which was revised higher.

Mortgage rates rose for much of June, tracking the 10-year Treasury note, ahead of the Fed's highly anticipated and well-telegraphed decision to raise short-term interest rates for the first time in more than a year. By historical standards, however, mortgage rates are still low.

The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages inched up to 5.96% from 5.95% a week ago, while the average on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased two basis points, or 5.34%, according a Mortgage Bankers Association report last week. The average rate for one-year adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, was unchanged at 3.93%, the MBA said.

Sales gains from a month ago were the sharpest in the Midwest and the West and the weakest in the South. The West also had the greatest year-over-year increase.

The median national sales price was a record $191,800 in June, up 9.6% from the previous year. The greatest appreciation was in the Northeast, where prices rose 15.9% from the year-ago period. Prices in the Midwest increased the least -- 7%.