A National Association of Realtors gauge of pending-home sales dropped 1.7 percent in October compared to September and fell 13.2 percent compared to October 2005, the association announced today. The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in October, had a reading of 107.2. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be examined and the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales. In preparing the index, the Realtor group examines a large national sample -- typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed and the transaction has not closed, but the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing. The index had reached a cyclical low of 105.6 in July, and the decline from year-ago levels is narrowing, the association reported. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement that a...
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