Pending home sales grew 0.3% to an index reading of 99.5 in September after an unrevised 2.6% decrease to 99.2 in August, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted that the index would be up 2.0%.
Year-over-year the pending homes sales index is up 14.5% from last September, when the index was 86.9.
Regionally, pending sales mostly rose. The Northeast saw a 1.4% increase to 79.3, while sales slid 5.8% in the Midwest to 89.5. In the South, sales climbed 1.0% to 111.5, and sales grew 4.3% to 106.9 in the West.
"Home contract activity remains at an elevated level in contrast with recent years, but currently appears to be bouncing around in a narrow range," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. "This means only minor movement is likely in near-term existing-home sales, but with positive underlying market fundamentals they should continue on an uptrend in 2013."