An index that tracks pending home sales increased 4.3 percent from July to August but sank 14.1 percent compared to August 2005, the National Association of Realtors trade group reported today. The Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in August, reached 110.1 in August, compared with 105.6 in July. The index is based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed and the transaction has not closed -- the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be examined, and was the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales, the association noted. "There is a closer relationship between annual changes in the index and actual market performance than with month-to-month comparisons; analysis shows a strong parallel between changes in the index from a year ago and the actual pace of home sales in c...
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