The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 10.4 percent to 89.3 based on contracts signed in October 2010 from 80.9 in September 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The index remains 20.5 percent below the surge witnessed in October 2009 to a of 112.4 when the first-time homebuyer tax credit was available. Regional pending sales rose across the nation except in the West where the index slipped 0.4 percent to 104.3, and is 15.6 percent below a year ago.
The data reflects contracts signed and not closings with closings normally occurring with a lag time of one or two months.
The NAR data suggests that existing home sales in November and December will be somewhat higher than in October.