From the National Association of Realtors:

Pending home sales activity surged as buyers took advantage of low home prices and affordable interest rates, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in August, jumped 7.4 percent to 93.4 from an upwardly revised reading of 87.0 in July, and is 8.8 percent higher than August 2007 when it stood at 85.8. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it stood at 101.4.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home buyers were responding to improved affordability. “What we’re seeing is the momentum of people taking advantage of low home prices, with pending home sales up strongly in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island and the Washington, D.C., region,” he said. “It’s unclear how much contract activity may be impacted by the credit disruptions on Wall Street, but we’re hopeful most of the increase will translate into closed existing-home sales.”

That confirms what I have been hearing from local realtors as well. Ironically, it seems that the housing crisis may have been ending on its own before the politicians panicked. It will be interesting to see how existing home sales come out this month. Pending sales are reported when the contrat is signed and with the credit crunch some of these that are pending may not close. In the past pending sales have tracked existing home sales very closely.