Today's pending home sales report showed U.S. homebuyers are being enticed by bargain basement prices on foreclosed homes.

The National Association of Realtors revealed Tuesday morning that pending U.S. home sales grew 6.3% in December, after falling an upwardly revised 3.7% in November.

Economists were expecting a flat reading.

The pending sales report records home sales contracts that are signed but not finalized, which generally lead to existing home sales within one or two months.

Information already released on existing sales for December saw a 6.5% increase, after falling sharply in November. However, 45% of the sales were of homes at distressed prices.

By Megan Ainscow and edited by Sarah Sussman
©CEP News Ltd. 2009