Mortgage rates increased slightly this week

Existing home sales in September eased slightly to 4.75 million, but they held the second strongest annualized pace since May 2010. 

Meanwhile, new home sales increased to their highest levels since April 2010, while prices continue to rise and consumer and builder confidence improves.

There are still plenty of hurdles to more robust growth, including congressional action on spending and tax issues, a struggle by builders to obtain the necessary credit to start building, qualified buyers who can't get home loans, inaccurate appraisals and seriously delinquent mortgages that are bogging down the market.