Pending home sales surged 10.4% to a reading of 93.3 in October from an unrevised 4.6% decrease to 84.5 in September, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 1.4% increase for the index.
Year over year, the pending homes sales index is up 9.2% from last October, when the index was 85.5.
Regionally, pending sales were mostly higher. The Northeast saw a 17.7% increase to 71.3, sales surged 24.1% in the Midwest to 88.7, sales grew 8.6% to 99.5 in the South, and sales dipped 0.3% to 105.5 in the West.
"Home sales have been plodding along at a subpar level while interest rates are hovering at record lows, and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
"We hope this indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions," he said. "Many consumers are recognizing that home buyers in the past two years have had one of the lowest default rates in history. Moreover, continued inventory declines are another healthy sign for the housing market."