U.S. pending home sales rise in November

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose in November, driven by a surge in new contracts being signed in country’s West, National Association of Realtors said Monday.

The NAR’s pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 1.2% to a reading of 108.5. The previous month’s reading was revised upward.

Pending home contracts are seen as a forward-looking indicator of the health of the housing market because they become sales one to two months later.

Compared with one year ago, pending sales were up 7.4%.

Compared to the prior month, contracts increased 5.5% in November in the West. They also increased in the Midwest but were lower in the South and Northeast.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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