Homes under contract hit 2.5-year high in November

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Demand in the Northeast and West drove an increase in pending home sales in November to the highest level in 2 1/2 years.

Pending home sales grew by 1.7 percent from October to November and were up 9.8 percent from a year ago, reaching their highest level since April 2010, when buyers were rushing to claim an expiring federal homebuyer tax credit, the National Association of Realtors said today.