The National Association of Realtors reports that the number of Americans signing contracts to purchase homes soared last month to its highest point in a year and a half. However, NAR officials also caution that more buyers are canceling sales agreements at the last minute, lowering the reliability of this gauge. The group’s index of pending home sales climbed 7.3 percent in November to a reading of 100.1, with any reading over 100 denoting a healthy market. The last time it was so high was April 2010, one month prior to a federal home-buying tax credit expiring. Contract signings traditionally have pointed to where the residential real-estate market is headed. But NAR reports that some 33 percent of agents had at least one contract fall through in November and October, up from 18 percent in September. | Read More