Pending Homes Sales: Outlook Brightest in Nearly 2 Years



WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in nearly two years, supporting the view that the housing market is gradually coming back.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its index of sales agreements rose 2 percent last month to a reading of 97. That's the highest reading since April 2010, the last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit and the last time the reading was above 100.

A reading of 100 is considered healthy.