The National Association of Realtors (NAR) interpreted a rise in pending home sales as a sign of a gradual housing market recovery in 2011.
The NAR's Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.5% to 92.2 in November, compared to October. The index is down, however, from the reading of 97.0 in November of last year.
Lawrence Yun, the group's chief economist, added that further economic gains are needed to realize a recovery.
“If we add 2 million jobs as expected in 2011, and mortgage rates rise only moderately, we should see existing-home sales rise to a higher, sustainable volume,” Yun said. “Credit remains tight, but if lenders return to more normal, safe underwriting standards for creditworthy buyers, there would be a bigger boost to the housing market and spillover benefits for the broader economy.”