December signed contracts for homes up 2 percent
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people who signed contracts to
buy homes rose in December, marking the fifth increase in the past
The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales
agreements for previously occupied homes rose 2 percent last month.
The index had posted a 3.1 percent increase in November.
Economists have cautioned that a big reason for the jump is that
people are buying foreclosed homes. Still, the increase is likely
to give the weak housing market a boost in the first few months of
the year. Thats because there's usually a one- to two-month lag
between a sales contract and a completed deal.
Contract signings were up in every region of the country except
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)