11-25-2013 5-27-50 PMThe pending home sales index was developed by The National Association of Realtors and is used by investors as a leading indicator of housing activity. This indicator is specific to existing home sales, not new home sales. When contract to purchase a home is signed, but no closed, that is a pending sale. Contracts usually take four to six weeks to close. For the month of October, the pending home sales index is down 0.6 percent to 102.1. Being the 5th month in a row of the declining trend it is pointing to further declines. The year-on-year comparison is a confirmation of the negative trend, it is down 1.6 percent. The National Association of Realtors is saying that the October weakness was mostly due to the government shutdown. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates are also factors in pulling down sales.