US NewsPending Home Sales Surge 10.4% in OctoberCNBC.com | November 30, 2011 | 10:00 AM EST
Potential home buyers came out of the woodwork in October, signing contracts to buy existing homes at a higher-than expected pace.
Pending home sales jumped 10.4 percent compared to September, according to the National Association of Realtors, with the biggest gains in the Midwest, up 24 percent.
The Northeast also saw sizeable gains, as did the South. Only out West did buyers stay on the sidelines, with pending home sales there basically flat month to month.
“Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows, and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years,” said Realtor chief economist Lawrence Yun. “We hope this is indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions.”
But even the Realtors caution that not all contracts turn into actual closed home sales. In fact, 18 percent of Realtors reported at least one cancelled contract in September, which is a huge jump from the normal level of between 4 and 6 percent.