Pending sales of existing homes beat expectations in October, rising 5.2% on a monthly basis and gaining 13.2% year-over-year, according to data released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), whose Pending Home Sales Index rose to a reading of 104.8. 

The level was one of the highest seen in the last five years, surpassed only by spikes when the home buyer tax credit was in place. 

“We’ve had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we’re seeing more impact now from steady job creation and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement discussing the numbers. 

On a regional basis, the Midwest and South saw gains in contract signings, while the Northeast and West saw declines. 

See NAR’s full report on pending home sales in October.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.