The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking indicator that measures the number of signed contracts that occur each month. In July, the index rose 2.4 percent, reaching a two-year high and climbing 12.4 percent over year-before levels. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the index is now at its highest level since April 2010 and, though month-to-month movement has been uneven, there have been 15 consecutive months of year-over-year gains in contract activity. Regionally, pending sales were up across the country, with double-digit improvements in the Northeast, Midwest, and South over last year’s estimates. The NAR projects existing-home sales will rise between 8.0 and 9.0 percent this year, with an additional 7.0 or 8.0 percent improvement in 2013. More here and here.