Pending home sales continued to post gains in January, which have now improved since hitting a cyclical low in April 2011, the National Association of Realtors reports.
Real estate data from the industry group's Pending Home Sales Index, showed the number of transactions in the category rose 2 percent to a reading of 97 during the month, which is notable higher than 95.1 measured in December.
"Given more favorable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilization or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations."
Regionally, the index showed a marked rise in pending home sales in the Northeast after they increased 7.6 percent to 78.2 in January. Meanwhile, pending sales edged 3.8 percent lower in the Midwest to 88.1. In addition, the South posted a gain of 7.7 percent to 109.1, while the West's sales dipped 4.4 percent to 101.9 in January.