The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, an indicator of future existing-home sales, rose 4.3 percent in August. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the data is consistent with a gradual improvement in sales over the next few months. Affordability and low mortgage rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market, Yun said. Pending sales were strongest in the South, where they were up 6.7 percent, and the West, where they rose 6.4 percent. More here and here.