High prices and low inventory kept homebuyers at bay in October. Signed contracts to buy existing homes were essentially flat from September, eking out a 0.2 percent gain, according to the National Association of Realtors' monthly index of pending sales.
It was an improvement, however, as pending sales had fallen sequentially for the previous two months. Pending sales are 3.9 percent higher than in October 2014 and have seen annual gains for the past 14 months. These contracts are a forward-looking indicator of closed sales in November and December.