December 30, 2019 / 3:07 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. pending home sales rise in November

FILE PHOTO: A worker walks on the roof of a new home under construction in Carlsbad, California September 22, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

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