WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Pending U.S. home sales jumped 10.4 percent in October, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
The Pending Home Sales Index, which predicts home closings one and two months down the road, rose to 89.3 after falling 1.8 percent to 80.9 in September, NAR said.
The index remains 20.5 percent below October 2009, but the double-digit increase was "welcoming," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.
"The housing market clearly is in a recovery phase and will be uneven at times, but the improving job market and consequential boost to household formation will help the recovery process going into 2011," he said in a statement.
The trade group said the pending home sales index surged 19.6 percent to 71.3 in October in the Northeast and 27.3 percent to 81.7 in the Midwest. In the South, the index rose 7.1 percent to 93.8. In the West, the index slid 0.4 percent to 104.3.