The pending home sales index for the month of August released today by the National Association of Realtors beat analyst expectations, rising 4% to 82.3 from 78.9 in July. Home buying still haven’t caught up to last year, when it was 103, but the worst-hit markets are appearing to recover fastest.
Analysts are seeing faster than expected gains in the housing markets that took the biggest blows when the real estate bubble burst and slower recoveries in less-affected areas.
Sales of homes in the U.S. rose 4.3% in August, based on the number of contracts signed.
The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose to 82.3 from 78.9 in July, adding to evidence that suggests home sales will improve gradually over the next few months.
Pending sales reflect contracts signed between home buyers and sellers. The closing of a sale usually takes a few months.
Pending sales fell 2.9% in the Northeast, but rose 2.1% in the Midwest, 6.4% in the West and 6.7% in the Midwest, according to the association.