HOUSING DEMAND JUMPS: The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 5.2 percent to 104.8 in October. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.
HIGHEST SINCE 2007: Excluding a few months when the index spiked because of a homebuyer tax credit, that is the highest level since March 2007.
GOOD SIGN: The increase points to healthy sales increases of previously occupied homes in the months ahead. There's generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.