Home buying contracts hit highest level in year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Home buying contracts hit highest level in year

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes jumped in October to the highest level in a year.  But the gain follows three months of declines and isn't enough to signal a housing recovery.

The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements rose 10.4 percent last month to a reading of 93.3.

A reading of 100 is considered healthy.  The last time it was that high was in April 2010, one month before a federal home-buying tax credit expired.

Contract signings usually indicate where the housing market is headed.  There's typically a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal.  But a growing number of buyers have canceled contracts after appraisals showed the homes were worth less than the bid.

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