Pending home sales based on contract signings in September increased 6% from the year before, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index is based on signed sales of existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. The transactions have yet to close, making it a forward-looking projection from the trade group. Pending home sales were down 4.6% from the month before, but that is a typical seasonal drop. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun blamed a combination of weaker consumer confidence and tighter requirements from banks. The index showed the highest increase from last year in the Midwest, with pending sales there 12.3% higher than they were last year. The area, however, showed the sharpest monthly decrease at 6.2%. Pending sales in the Northeast were 4% above the year before, the smallest increase. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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