The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index is an indicator of future existing-home sales based on contract signings but not closings. In April, the index declined 5.5 percent from March’s revised estimate but is 14.4 percent above April 2011. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said home contract activity has been above year-ago levels for 12-consecutive months and a one-month setback doesn’t change the fundamentally improving housing conditions. Pending sales rose in the Northeast, were flat in the Midwest, and suffered declines in both the South and West. The NAR expects existing-home sales to reach 4.66 million this year, up from 4.26 million in 2011. More here and here.