The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes jumped in October to the highest level in a year. But the gain follows three months of declines and isn't enough to signal a housing recovery.
The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements rose 10.4 percent last month to a reading of 93.3.
A reading of 100 is considered healthy. The last time it was that high was in April 2010, one month before a federal home-buying tax credit expired.
Contract signings usually indicate where the housing market is headed. There's typically a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal.
But a growing number of buyers have canceled contracts after appraisals showed the homes were worth less than the bid.
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