Pending sales of U.S. resale homes rose 8.8 percent in August compared to the same month last year, the National Association of Realtors reported today, rising to the highest level since June 2007.

The index offers an indication of future sales, as it measures the volume of signed contracts for sales transactions that have not yet closed — sales are typically finalized within one or two months of signing, though some deals fall through before the transactions are closed.

"It’s unclear how much contract activity may be impacted by the credit disruptions on Wall Street, but we’re hopeful most of the increase will translate into closed existing-home sales," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a statement.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index reached 93.4 in August — an index level of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity in 2001, which was the first year to be examined for the index and first of five straight record years for sales of resale homes.

Regionally, the index rose 37.8 percent in the West, 6.6 percent in the Midwest, 2 percent in the Northeast and sank 2.1 percent in the South in August compared to the same month last year. The nationwide index rose 7.4 in August compared to July.


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