NEW YORK (AP) - The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in November, the fourth increase since contract signings hit a low in June.
The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes increased 3.5 percent last month from a downwardly revised reading in October. Contract signings were up in the West and Northeast, but down in the South and Midwest.
Signings are 22.1 percent above June's index reading, which was the lowest level since the private group began tracking the data in 2001.
Meanwhile, The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week to the highest level in seven months. Freddie Mac says the rate increased to 4.86 percent from 4.81 percent in the previous week. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent last month.