Recent real estate data has revealed a strengthening housing market. In fact, both new and existing home sales were better than expected in November and new estimates from the National Association of Realtors show contract signings up as well. The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index – which measures contracts to buy homes rather than closings – was up only slightly in November but hit its highest reading since June. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the housing market is getting stronger. “The housing market is closing the year on a stronger note than earlier this summer, backed by solid job creation and an economy that has kicked into a higher gear,” Yun said. However, Yun also cautions that, though there is growing demand for homes, low inventory levels remain a big question for next year’s home buyers. If more homes become available for sale, next year’s market could grow even stronger – as more homes for sale will help improve affordability conditions for buyers. More here.