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Pending home sales reported up slightly in December

MIAMI - The number of people preparing to buy a home rose slightly in December, a sign that home sales could be stabilizing heading into the spring home buying season.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements rose 1 percent from November to December to a reading of 96.6. That was a little lower than the 97.1 level analysts expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

The index has risen for nine out of the past 10 months as buyers scrambled to take advantage of an $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit before its scheduled expiration Nov. 30.

Congress extended the tax credit to April 30, and added a $6,500 credit for current homeowners.

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