Signed contracts to buy existing homes rose 0.3 percent in April from March, according to the National Association of Realtors.
These so-called "pending" home sales are an indicator of final closed sales one to two months later. The index is up 10.3 percent from a year ago to the highest level since April of 2010, just before the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.
"The housing market continues to squeak out gains from already very positive conditions. Pending contracts so far this year easily correspond to higher closed home sales in 2013," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors.
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Total existing-home sales are expected to rise just over 7 percent to about 5 million this year.
Pending homes sales jumped 11.5 percent month-to-month in the Northeast, rose 3.2 percent in the Midwest, fell 1.1 percent in the South, and dropped 7.6 percent in the West, according to the Realtors.