The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in November, has risen to its highest level since April 2010 according to a CNBC.com report released today. The index recorded a 7.3% gain (over the previous month, I assume) and finished at 100.1, handily beating economists’ forecasts of up 2%. This is really encouraging news although I still don’t know how much of this number is comprised of foreclosures and short sales, or how many of these pending sales will ultimately be cancelled. However, increases in home sales are great news no matter how you slice it because it helps our country move through excess inventory and stabilize home values. Both of those ingredients are going to be necessary to create a sustainable housing recovery. Could this be the beginnings? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ll take a positive headline any day. Here’s hoping it bodes well for 2012!