The National Association of Realtors leading indicator of future existing-home sales rose 1.7% in November to the highest level in two-and-a-half years.
The trade group is looking ahead for another good year with sales rising 10% in 2013.
“Even with the market frictions related to the mortgage process, home contract activity continues to improve. Home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favorable affordability conditions,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
Existing-home sales bottomed out in 2010 at 4.19 million and rose to 4.26 million in 2011. NAR economists estimate sales will hit 4.69 million by yearend, which would represent an 8.4% increase for 2012.
NAR’s pending sales index is based on signed contracts, which usually translates into actual sales in a month or two.
The PSI rose to 106.4 in November from 104.6 in October. The index is up 9.8% from a year ago.
In November, the PSI rose in the Northeast and West and was flat in the Midwest and South.