The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of contracts to buy homes signed during the month. Because it tracks signings, and not closings, it’s considered a good gauge of upcoming home sales. In October, the Index was virtually flat, rising just 0.2 percent from the month before. It is now 3.9 percent higher than at the same time last year. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says pending sales have plateaued due to there not be enough homes available for sale. “Contract signings in October made the most strides in the Northeast, which hasn’t seen much of the drastic price appreciation and supply constraints that are occurring in other parts of the country,” Yun said. “In the most competitive metro areas – particularly those in the South and West – affordability concerns remained heightened as low inventory continues to drive up prices.” In fact, regional estimates do show pending sales up 4.5 percent in the Northeast. On the other hand, contract signings rose just 1.7 percent in the West, while the Midwest and South both saw declines. More here.