Pending home sales grew 5.2% to an index reading of 104.8 in October, its highest level since March 2007, after an upwardly revised 0.4% increase to 99.6 in September, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted that the index would be up unchanged.
September's rise was initially reported as 0.3% to 99.5.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001.
Year-over-year the pending homes sales index is up 13.2% from last October, when the index was 92.6.
Regionally, pending sales were mixed. The Northeast saw a 0.1% decrease to 79.2, while sales rose 15.6% in the Midwest to 104.4. In the South, sales climbed 5.5% to 117.3, and sales fell 1.1% to 105.7 in the West.
"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," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.
Hurricane Sandy helped cut pending sales in the Northeast, he said.