By Ruth Mantell
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Pending home sales rose 10.4% in October, hitting 93.3 on an index released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. “We hope this indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement. An index reading of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed. Not all contracts lead to closings. By region, October pending home sales rose 24.1% in the Midwest, 17.7% in the Northeast and 8.6% in the South. In the West pending sales fell 0.3%. Nationally, pending sales are up 9.2% from last year.