An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.

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The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 5.2 percent to 104.8 in October. Excluding a few months when the index spiked because of a homebuyer tax credit, that is the highest level since March 2007.

Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There's generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

 

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