A strong showing of homebuyers in the South and West boosted overall U.S. home sales in April. Signed contracts to buy existing homes rose 5.1 percent compared to March, hitting the highest level in a decade. The so-called "pending home sales index" from the National Association of Realtors is now up 4.6 percent from April of 2015.
"The ability to sign a contract on a home is slightly exceeding expectations this spring even with the affordability stresses and inventory squeezes affecting buyers in a number of markets," said Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors' chief economist in a release. "The building momentum from the over 14 million jobs created since 2010 and the prospect of facing higher rents and mortgage rates down the road appear to be bringing more interested buyers into the market."