WASHINGTON – Pending U.S. home sales in April posted the biggest monthly jump in nearly eight years, a sign that home sales are finally coming to life after a long and painful slump.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index of sales contracts signed in April rose 6.7 percent to 90.3. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the index would edge up to 85 from a reading of 84.6 in March. It was the biggest monthly jump since October 2001.

I’m always a skeptic of statistics, but less so than when there’s a significant change — in other words, I believe this is a very good sign. (Here’s hoping my house in Roanoke is soon among them….)