Sales of newly built single-family homes rose 7.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000 units in August, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The gain partly offsets a dip in sales activity that occurred in July as consumers reacted to higher interest rates, the National Association of Home Builders said in a news release. Sales rose 8.8 percent in the Northeast, 19.6 percent in the Midwest and 15.3 percent in the South. The West was the exception to the rule, with a 14.6 percent decline. Though the supply of new homes edged down to five months due to the quicker sales pace in August, the total inventory rose for a seventh consecutive month, to 175,000 units, the home builders organization said.