By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Pending home sales rose 3.5% in November, according to an index released Thursday. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose to 92.2 from a downwardly revised 89.1 in October. The index is still 5% below November 2009 levels. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20% of transactions for existing-home sales.