Pending home sales rose strongly in July, hitting the highest level seen since April 2010, according to data released today in the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index. The forward-looking indicator, which measures contract signings on existing homes rather than closings, was up 2.4% from June to a reading of 101.7. Year-over-year the index rose 12.4%.

"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," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement discussing the numbers. "All regions saw monthly increases in home-buying activity except for the West, which is now experiencing an acute inventory shortage."

NAR projects that existing-home sales will rise 8% to 9% this year compared to 2011.

See the National Association of Realtors’ full release discussing pending home sales in July.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.