U.S. pending home sales index bounced 3.5% to 109.3 in October
U.S. pending home sales index bounced 3.5% to 109.3 in October, better than expected, following the 0.4% decline in September to 105.6 (revised from 106.0). That compares to the year's high of 112.3 from February (the index has been in triple digits since May 2014 and hit a record low at 76.4 in June 2010). Most of the strength was in the South as a result of the hurricane recovery, where sales climbed 7.4% after the prior 3.0% drop. Sales in the Midwest were up 2.8%, with the Northeast edging up 0.5%, while the West slipped 0.7%. Compared to last year, sales are up 1.2% y/y versus -5.7% y/y previously (revised from -5.4% y/y). Inventories, or lack of, remain problematic, and have fallen for 29 straight months.