Pending home sales surged in October, rising 10.4 percent above September’s pace and 9.2 percent above last year. According to the National Association of Realtors, pending sales, which reflect contract signings but not closings, were up 17.7 percent in the Northeast, 24.1 percent in the Midwest, and 8.6 percent in the South. The index was flat in the West but remains 8.1 percent above a year ago. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said home sales have been plodding along despite record affordability conditions. Yun hopes the improvement in pending sales indicates that buyers are beginning to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and excellent affordability conditions. More here.