WASHINGTON – The number of Americans who signed contracts to purchase homes edged up slightly in October, a sign that the housing market remains on sure footing after solid price and sales gains this year.
The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.1 percent to 110. Pending sales improved in the Northeast, Midwest and West, while falling in the South.
Many of the contracts were signed when 30-year mortgage rates were averaging less than 3.5 percent, close to a historic low. In the weeks since the presidential election, average rates have jumped above 4 percent, making it costlier to buy a home.
Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed.