The National Association of Realtors said the index that keeps track of contracts of intention rose "strongly" in the month "with mixed regional results."
As of October, the index has shown year-over-year improvements for 18 consecutive months. As such, the index for October is 13.2 percent higher than the 92.6 posted in October 2011.
"We've had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we're seeing more impact now from steady job creation," Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement.
NAR said the pending home sales index slipped 0.1 percent in the Northeast to 79.2.
The index jumped 15.6 percent in the Midwest to 104.4. In the South it rose 5.5 percent to 117.3. In the West, the index fell 1.1 percent to 105.7.
Reindeer recovered after escaping from Santa during lighting ceremony
Trader Joe's: Car crashes into Long Island store, injuring 11