A gauge of pending home sales rose 0.3% in September, hitting the second highest level for this year, showing that upcoming closings of existing homes are likely to pick up, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. The index of pending home sales reached a seasonally adjusted 105 in September, compared with 104.7 in August. Slower price growth and more homes for sale are likely supporting pending home sales, according to NAR. By region, September's gauge of pending home sales rose 1.4% in the South and 1.2% in the Northeast. Meanwhile, the pending gauge fell 1.2% in the Midwest and 0.8% in the West. September's pending-sales barometer was up 1% from the year-earlier level, a positive sign for a market that has seen several setbacks in 2014. Pending sales typically close within two months. An index reading of 100 equals 2001's average contract activity level.
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