The Pending Home Sales Index climbed 2.4 percent in July compared to June and was 12.4 percent higher than a year ago, according to the latest index released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) today. The index tracks contract signings but not closings. In the Midwest region, which includes Illinois, the pending index in July rose 3.4 percent month-over-month and was 20.2 percent higher than a year ago. From NAR:

Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said the index is at the highest level since April 2010, which was shortly before the closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit. “While the month-to-month movement has been uneven, more importantly we now have 15 consecutive months of year-over-year gains in contract activity,” Yun said.

Watch a new video from NAR on July pending home sales: