Americans signed more contracts in October to purchase previously owned homes, another sign the recovery in the housing market is being sustained.
The index of pending home resales climbed 5.2 percent, exceeding the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, to 104.8 after a revised 0.4 percent gain in September, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast in the Bloomberg survey called for a 1 percent gain.
The lowest mortgage rates on record, stable prices and waning foreclosures are helping underpin sales three years after the last recession ended. Federal Reserve policy makers have targeted the industry with purchases of mortgage-backed securities as they seek to bolster the labor market and the expansion.
“As folks start to feel a little more comfortable about their home price, they’re going to put it on the market and you’re going to start to see this trend continue” of higher sales, Anika Khan, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co., said before the report. “We still see the overall residential market continuing to add to growth in the coming quarters.”