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Pending home sales edge up in January

A single family home is shown with a sale pending in Encinitas, California May 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A single family home is shown with a sale pending in Encinitas, California May 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes edged up in January after a weather-related hit at the end of last year, offering hope the housing recovery would get back on track.

The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 0.1 percent to 95.0 in January.

The increase followed a revised 5.8 percent December drop that had taken pending sales to their lowest level since November 2011.

"Ongoing disruptive weather patterns in much of the U.S. inhibited home shopping," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, said in a statement. "Limited inventory also is playing a role, especially in the West, while credit remains tight and affordability isn't as favorable as it was a year ago."

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Andrea Ricci)